Upcoming Events

IASC Webinar: Climate Crisis and Spiritual Care

April 28, 2022 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Zoom Webinar
Ian Rees

Join the International Association for Spiritual Care for their annual conference on Thursday, April 28 from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm ET. This year’s conference will focus on the theme of Climate Crisis and Spiritual Care. This conference is free, registration is required to receive the webinar link.

Register Today

Conference Schedule

Keynote Address  |  12:00 1:00 pm
Melanie L. Harris, PhD

Dr. Melanie L. Harris, PhD (Union) is Professor of Black Feminist Thought and Womanist Theology jointly appointed with Wake Forest School of Divinity and the African American Studies program at Wake Forest University; and Director of the Food, Health and Ecological Well-Being Program.  A graduate of the Harvard Leadership Program, Dr. Harris is a former American Council of Education Fellow and Founding Director of Texas Christian University’s African American and Africana Studies program. Her research and scholarship critically examines intersections bxetween race, religion, gender and environmental ethics.  She is the author of Gifts of Virtue: Alice Walker and Womanist Ethics (Palgrave), Ecowomanism: Earth Honoring Faiths (Orbis) and co-editor of Faith, Feminism, and Scholarship: The Next Generation (Palgrave), as well as many scholarly articles and book chapters.

Wisdom from Afro-Brazilian Religious Tradition for Spiritual Care  |  1:15 –  2:15 pm
Donna Carole Roberts, MS & Rev. Dr. Samuel Cruz

Donna Roberts, MS, is a longtime environmental educator, activist, non-profit leader, and filmmaker with an MS in Environmental Sciences.  She is Coordinator of Vermont Interfaith Power & Light, and is producer/director and co-writer of the documentary, “Yemanja: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil”, narrated by Alice Walker.  Nearly two decades in the making, the film has won six best documentary awards and screened internationally. Donna’s graduate field research focused on the work of Brazilian women socio-environmental educators and activists, including the esteemed Candomblé leader Makota Valdina Pinto who is also featured in the documentary film.” www.yemanjathefilm.com

Rev. Samuel Cruz, PhD, is Associate Professor of Religion and Society at Union Theological Seminary, and author of Masked Africanisms: Puerto Rican Pentecostalism; and Christianity and Culture in the City: A Post Colonial Approach.  He has an extensive background in the field of Sociology of Religion, focusing on ethnographic research on Afro-Latinx spiritualities, Pentecostalism and African spiritualities of the Caribbean. Pastor Cruz is known in New York City and Puerto Rico for advocating for Afro-Latinx rights, and is a frequent guest on MSNBC, the Melissa Harris-Perry Show, and a guest host on WBAI-FM.  He is an ordained Pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Senior Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Brooklyn.

Ritual and Ecojustice for Spiritual Care  |  2:30 – 3:30 pm ET
Rev. Cláudio Carvalhaes, PhD, Aiping Cao & Jing Lin

Rev. Cláudio Carvalhaes, PhD (Union) is Associate Professor of Worship, Union Theological Seminary, and a regular instructor in the Hispanic Summer Program (HSP).  He is author most recently of Ritual at World’s End, and Liturgies from Below, among many publications in both English and Portuguese.  He is a much sought after speaker, writer, performer, and consultant, Dr. Carvalhaes has held a number of leadership positions in the American Academy of Religion and has presented frequently to the North American Academy of Liturgy, the Academy of Homiletics, and the International Academy of Practical Theology Academy of Homiletics, and has preached and lectured widely in the U.S., Oslo, the Vatican, Mozambique, and his native country Brazil.  He is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church USA.

Xian’ai (Aiping Cao) and Xian’an (Jing Lin) are Buddhist nuns from China of the Mahayana tradition. Currently, they are STM students at Union Theological Seminary and will join the Ph.D. program at Union this Fall to study Buddhist ritual and climate crisis. During the past eight years, they practiced mindfulness and studied Buddhist philosophy in the temple located in Manhattan, and they completed the Buddhism and Interreligious Engagement MDiv program at Union Theological Seminary.