One Year Later

by Rev. Allen Ewing-Merrill, Executive Director
Over the past several days, we’ve been reliving our “one-year-ago” anniversaries: the day the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic, the day the schools closed, the last day at the office, the last gathering with cherished friends or beloved family, the last in-person worship service. Each of these one-year markers holds significance. Each evokes images, feelings, questions. Marking these anniversaries feels important — significant.

Weather: A Novel
Author Event with Jenny Offill 

Thursday, May 13, 2021
4:00-5:15pm (Eastern) • Author reading, facilitated conversation and Q&A
5:30-6:00pm (Eastern) • Pop-up book discussion groups (optional)

Free Online Event • Open to the Public

Weather is an extraordinary novel that showcases Jenny Offill's adventurous prose, intelligence and lyricism across a range of disciplines, from deep ecology to mystical theology to the politics of collective action. The author’s vignette style reads almost like a journal filled with the main character’s reflections on daily life, increasing concern over climate devastation, and desires for spiritual enlightenment.  
The book has the potential to spark important conversations around identity and meaning in a time of global, existential crisis. We invite you to join us for one of those conversations.

From What Is to What If: Practicing Imagination

A Six-Session Community of Practice

Tuesday afternoons
4:00-5:30 pm (Eastern)
•  April 20, 2021
•  April 27, 2021
•  May 11, 2021
•  May 25, 2021
•  June 8, 2021
•  June 15, 2021

Registration is closed. Please contact Alison ( with any questions.
“Bringing about the world we want to live in, the world we want to leave to our children is, substantially, the work of the imagination, or what educational reformer John Dewey describes as ‘the ability to look at things as if they could be otherwise’.”  
— Rob Hopkins

We invite you to join a co-learning community of practice to engage your imagination, to take the journey from acknowledging “what is …” to imagining “what if…”  Our time together will draw upon  the work of Rob Hopkins, writer, environmental activist, and founder of the Transition movement, and others who inspire moral and ecological imagination, and will be guided by a series of spiritually-based practices. We will support one another in imagining projects or endeavors that will aim to spark the imaginations of others in our communities.  
Meeting together virtually for six 90-minute sessions, we will work around the Imagination Sundial, developed by Rob Hopkins. During these sessions, we will engage in practices intended to  build our imagination muscle — like an exercise class for your imagination!

All We Can Save: Book Circle

Four Thursdays in April:
April 8, 2021 • 4:00pm-5:30pm (Eastern)
April 15, 2021 • 4:00pm-5:00pm (Eastern)
April 22, 2021 • 4:00pm-5:00pm (Eastern)
April 29, 2021 • 4:00pm-5:00pm (Eastern)
All sessions offered on Zoom

Registration is closed, contact Aram Mitchell  ( if you are interested in hearing about future All We Can Save book events and resources.

This April you are invited to join with a community across borders to explore All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis. The BTS Center is partnering with Montreal City Mission to host this virtual Book Circle, drawing together our communities in Maine, in Montreal, and beyond.

Together we will engage select portions of the book over the course of four weekly sessions. Each session will be grounded in spiritual curiosity, centered around small-group conversation, and designed to compel hopeful responses to difficult realities.

Who we are

The BTS Center is a think tank and incubator for 21st-century ministry. We create and support educational events, projects, and research inquiries in the fields of religion, spirituality, practical theology, and ministry.

We are a non-profit charitable organization in Maine, carrying on the historic, chartered mission of Bangor Theological Seminary (est. 1814). We seek to be generous stewards of our legacy, re-framing our purpose of preparing faith leaders for ministry in a 21st-century, digitally-integrated, multi-faith world.

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What we do

  • We convene generative gatherings. 
  • We create and curate fresh thinking.
  • We fund selected projects as an active partner, investing in faith leaders and organizations prepared to apply innovative thinking to equip and support creative leadership for both familiar and emerging forms of ministry, and religious/spirituality-based leadership that resists traditional labels and forms. 
  • We collaborate with others who share our vision and values.

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Why we do it

There is a great need for innovative vocational development for faith leaders in a world evolving right before our eyes, in ways not always welcome and at a breathtaking pace.

We believe The BTS Center is uniquely positioned and equipped to be a progressive spiritual, intellectual, and practical partner with others to encourage, support, and empower individuals and their communities as agents of change who embody God's mercy, reconciliation, and justice for all people and all of creation.

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“Even in the first generation, your pioneering founders wanted to do it differently. These people looked for something new and distinctive to do in the field of theological education.”

— Robert Wood Lynn




Click the below link to check out our latest e-newsletter and learn more about two programs we are offering this spring — All We Can Save: Book Circle and From What Is to What If: Practicing Imagination.

The December issue of Bearings, the online magazine of The BTS Center, is our last. With this issue, we celebrate, we give thanks, we bid farewell, and we embrace the spiritual practice of letting go. #bearings #celebrate #farewell

Here's the November issue of Bearings, the online magazine of The BTS Center, focusing on the theme of Brave Change. This month, our contributors explore the role of uncertainty, risk, discovery, and faith in moving life in new and unexpected directions.