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Creating Communities of Sanctuary for All

By | A World on the Move, Borders and Identity: Sanctuary Rally, Igniting Change, Main News, Queering Faith | No Comments

Saturday, March 18, 3:00 PM 

Rally at MLK Civic Center Park 

2151 MLK Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704

Join faith leaders and activists as we urge our elected officials to honor sanctuary for all people, regardless of immigration status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion.

Speakers Include:

  • Jesse Arreguin, Mayor, City of Berkeley
  • Rev. John Fife, Co-founder of the Sanctuary movement
  • Rev. James Lawson, Jr., Civil Rights Leader
  • Rev. Phillip Lawson, Civil Rights Leader
  • Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and immigration activist
  • Rev. Dr. David Vásquez-Levy, President, Pacific School of Religion

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In his famous Letter from the Birmingham Jail, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. articulated the profound spiritual role that marches, protests, sit-ins, etc. play in movements for social change, saying “[Through direct action,] we…bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with…injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion, before it can be healed.”

To conclude our time together, we will explore what we come to know and understand about Borders and Identities in and through participation in direct social action, and how we might join in exposing underlying tensions and systems of injustice so that they might be transformed. As we put hands, feet, and heart to our prayers in the hopes of directly impacting our local and national communities, we affirm that this, too, is what theology and ministry looks like.

At Borders and Identity conference, trailblazing activists to reflect on first 100 days of Trump’s presidency

By | A World on the Move, Igniting Change, Main News, Queering Faith | No Comments

Borders and Identity, the 2017 Earl and Boswell Lectures, will feature reflections from trailblazing social justice activists and organizers. Pacific School of Religion and our Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion are honored to welcome Rev. John Fife, Rev. Phillip Lawson, Dolores Huerta, and Rev. James Lawson, Jr.  Read More

No Hate, No Fear: PSR President David Vásquez-Levy Responds to Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration

By | A World on the Move, Main News, President, Uncategorized | No Comments

“No hate, no fear! Refugees are welcome here,” chanted the growing crowd at JFK Airport on Saturday, January 28.

They gathered—“out of nowhere” according to a New York Times report—in support of refugees and others detained at the airport as they sought to enter the country in the hours following President Donald Trump’s executive order the day before.

No fear…. Every encounter between humans and the divine in Scriptures begins with precisely those words, “do not fear.” That is the heart of the good news. It is the message proclaimed by the angels at the moment God broke into the world in the form of a child. “Perfect love casts out fear,” says the author of 1 John.

We are at our best when we embody this message of love and resist fear. By contrast, governing by fear is deeply antithetical to our sacred call.

Read More

Registration now open for our 2017 Earl and Boswell Lectures: Borders and Identity

By | A World on the Move, Igniting Change, Main News, Queering Faith | No Comments

Jose Antonio VargasWithin the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, join us for an engaging weekend of workshops, worship, direct action, and networking around the theme of “Borders and Identity.”

Migration across all kinds of borders—both physical and metaphorical—is reshaping our understanding of identity across boundaries of race, culture, religion, sexuality, gender, and nationality. It has been a major, and divisive, theme of national politics. Halfway through the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, join us for an engaging weekend of workshops, worship, direct action, and community building. The conference will emphasize practical skills, timely resources, and a deeper analysis of the critical issues facing us at this moment. Our goal is to equip leaders to stand for justice with all those on the borders and margins.

Register for “Borders & Identity” now

In Memoriam: Jean McCarter

By | In Memoriam, Main News | No Comments

The Pacific School of Religion community extends our condolences to the family and friends of Jean (Maxwell) McCarter, who passed away last week. From 1979 to 1991, Jean’s husband, Dr. Neely McCarter, served as president of Pacific School of Religion. The McCarters lived on campus during that time and Jean shared a warm ministry of hospitality with the students, faculty, and staff.

Jean was born in Clinton, South Carolina, where she met  Neely who attended a Presbyterian college in the area. She and Neely were married in 1954, and had three children, Robin, Robert, and Shirley. During their time at Pacific School of Religion, the McCarters raised their family in the Maybeck House and were a vibrant part of the community.

President David Vásquez-Levy shares, “Jean remained committed to PSR and its mission throughout her life. She was looking forward to being part of the 150th Founders Day celebration this past October, but her health prevented her from participating. Still, she valued hearing about the gathering and believed strongly in the renewed vision and mission of PSR.  We are grateful to God for Jean and Neely’s leadership and commitment to PSR. Please keep their family in prayer as they celebrate Jean’s remarkable life and grieve her death.”

Eileen Weston, PSR Archivist, reflects, “Jean was a gentle, gracious lady and a real asset to PSR for many years.  Her personal interest and caring presence was a gift to students, faculty and staff alike.”

Jean is preceded in death by her husband, Neely (1929-2009).

PSR teams with the Forum for Theological Exploration for a new Emerging Leaders Program

By | A World on the Move, Main News | No Comments

Announcing a new program for  emerging leaders who are first- or second-generation immigrants and who are interested in exploring pastoral ministry as a career.

Pacific School of Religion has been given the incredible opportunity, beginning in March 2017, to coordinate a first-time mentoring & internship program for young adult (under age 30) emerging leaders who are first- and second-generation immigrants and who may be considering a path toward pastoral ministry in service to immigrant and non-immigrant communities throughout California, with a focus on the Central Valley. This innovative program has been made possible through the generous support of the Forum for Theological Exploration.

The “FTE Emerging Leaders Program” will begin with an all-expenses paid weekend retreat on March 10 and 11, 2017 on Pacific School of Religion’s campus in beautiful Berkeley, California. The event will include meetings with President David Vásquez-Levy and faculty member Filipe Maia, together with our inaugural program mentors. Regular mentor guidance will be provided directly from the mentors throughout the Spring and Summer of 2017 under the supervision of PSR.

In addition, paid internship opportunities will be available for those who choose to pursue them, beginning in the Summer of 2017. The pool of mentors and internship providers are being carefully selected from an ever-growing pool of denominational partners.

Internships will provide “hands on” experience working with clergy in a denomination as close to the intern’s place of residence as possible.

Interested emerging leaders can complete an application by visiting here. The application deadline is Friday, February 10, 2017.

If you know of a first- or second-generation immigrant young adult who is seriously considering pastoral ministry as a calling, we encourage you to let them know about this amazing program.