Summer Session 2011 - Special Events & Worship

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Workshops & RetreatsSpecial Events & Worship

Tuesday Night Talks

LectureWe are excited to be able to welcome the general public to our campus for a series of lectures and conversations given by distinguished members of this year's Summer Session faculty.

The "Talks" will be held on Tuesday nights during Summer Session. They are free of charge, and open to the public.  Receptions at 7:00pm (all welcome) and talks from 7:30-9:00pm.


July 12: Mary Hunt
"Feminist Religious Ethics—Some Answers for a Change"

Contemporary ethicists put a premium on asking useful questions - Mary Huntwhat some consider the right questions. Given that the U.S. is engaged in several wars, has an economy that favors the rich over the rest, and seems to be engaged in enshrining arguably narrow-minded policies into law, questions about the country's direction are essential to ask. But equally important as asking the right questions is helping provide answers to the challenges that we as a society face. In this lecture, Mary E. Hunt will suggest some tentative answers from a a feminist religious perspective, with lively discussion to follow. Listen »

July 19:
Debra Haffner

Debra Haffner "Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing: A New Movement"

How are religious institutions (denominations, seminaries, parachurch organizations) changing in the 21st century? How are they breaking the silence on issues of sexual morality and justice? In this talk, Rev. Haffner will talk about the relationship of sexuality and religion, the historical and Scriptural foundations for discussions of sexual justice, and the need for a progressive religious voice in conversations about sexuality. Listen »


July 26: Yvette FlunderBishop Flunder

"The Double Lives of Powerful Leaders: Is it Safe to Tell the Truth?"

Recent news has been filled with stories of religious, political and corporate leaders whose private lives have left many shocked and dismayed. Many more have escaped the evening news, but exhibit the same behaviors. Is there a connection between power and dysfunction? If so how can we safeguard against it? How can we encourage a proactive discourse rather than a reactive outcry? Listen »

August 2: Angel Méndez-MontoyaMendez-Montoya

"Theology and Dance: Flesh in Flux"

Christianity has many understandings of the concept of "body," among them physical, social, political, and ecclesial. The concept of "flesh," however, has not been so easily understood; even today, flesh continues under scrutiny, or is ignored. And yet, at the heart of the Gospel of John lies a provocative claim: God incarnated as human flesh, a “divine touch” that divinizes without suppressing the material world, immanence and creation. How can we understand this conundrum?

Theories of dance understand flesh as something experiential, performative, and embodied; dancers understand that the body in motion can evoke a primal encounter with God. In this lecture, Angel Mendez-Montoya will examine how bringing theology and dance together might help us understand flesh as something beautiful, a location where love and desire can come together in an all-inclusive dance. Listen »


August 9: Rosemary Radford Ruether

Rosemary Radford Ruether"The Palestinian struggle for Survival: Environmental Pollution, Denial of Water and Ethnic Cleansing in the Occupied Territories"

Rosemary Radford Ruether will discuss the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in terms of ethnic cleansing of Palestinian population, the conflict's reenforcement in American politics (specifically in terms of U.S.-Israel military relations), and the expression this has had in environmental pollution and denial of water in the Occupied Territories. Listen »

Weekly Receptions

cocktail-partyOn Tuesday, July 5 at 12:30, and every Monday at 1:00 thereafter, we invite Summer Session attendees to gather together withPSR students, faculty, administrators, and staff for fellowship, refreshments, and good conversation. If you've never been to Summer Session before, you can take this chance to get oriented; if you're a long-time Summer Session participant, come and share your love of the school with new visitors!



 Art Exhibit

Michael RaunerFrom June 16 to August 26 the Doug Adams Gallery at the Badè Museum and the Center for Arts, Religion, and Education (CARE) at the GTU will host "Portraits on the Margin: California's Alternative Religious Communities," with photographs by Mark Thompson and Michael Rauner. Please check back soon for more details.



Worship & Spiritual Life


Morning Prayer (ecumenical and interfaith) is offered every Tuesday and Thursday during Summer Session from 8:30 a.m. to 8:55 a.m.

Taize Prayer (candlelight prayer and song ) is offered every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

A Ecumenical Service of Holy Communion is offered Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. Many Summer Session professors are scheduled to preach: Mary Hunt (July 10), Angel Mendez-Montoya (July 31) Rosemary Radford Ruether (August 7).

All services are held in the PSR Chapel of the Great Commission, 1798 Scenic Avenue.

Individual appointments for pastoral counseling are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with the pastor of New Spirit Community Church, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Metropolitan Community Churches.

For information on services or for appointments contact Rev. Jim Mitulski ( 510/849-8150) or look for him in 132B Holbrook, across from the Badè Museum.

Contact Donnel Miller-Mutia (, 510/849-8257) for referrals to other local pastors, or check out this list of local denominational resources


Film Showing: Tell Me Something I Can't Forget

LeftOn Wednesday evening, July 27, there will be a showing of the internationally award-winning film, Tell Me Something I Can't Forget, followed by a discussion of using writing to empower the silenced.  

The film features the Chicopee Writers' Workshop in Massachusetts, a project designed to give economically disadvantaged women the opportunity to confront their difficulties and develop their talents through creative writing. Using verite footage, interviews and narrative sequences, this moving film reflects the diversity of the group and the direct, honest format of the workshop. Taking its structure from the writers' work -- poetry, narrative pieces, short works of fiction and journal entries -- Tell Me Something I Can't Forget examines the role of creativity in everyone's life. Directed by Diane Garey and Lawrence Hott. 

July 27, Mudd Hall 102, 7-9PM. Free and open to the public.


Reading: Pat Schneider & Chris DeLorenzo

Wake Up Laughing

Saturday, July 30, 2-4pm in the Bade Museum, Holbrook Hall.

Join Pat Schneider, writer, workshop facilitator, and founder of Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) and Chris DeLorenzo, of  the University of San Francisco and Laguna Writers Workshops, as they read from their new and previously published work.

Pat Schneider developed the ground-breaking AWA method (based on spontaneous writing exercises and positive group feedback) and inspired Chris DeLorenzo to emulate her work as a workshop facilitator. Pat and Chris have been writing and working together for over twenty years.

Light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be supplied, and there will be time for a Q&A and a book signing at the end of the reading.

Free and open to the public.


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We reserve the right to change course descriptions, instructors, dates and hours of instruction, meeting places, and prices. In the event of a conflict between printed material and information on this Web site, the information on this Web site takes precedence. Courses that have been cancelled due to low enrollment may be absent from this list. Please contact the Summer Session Office for any questions regarding cancelled courses. Before registering please ensure that you have read the information included on the Registration and Logistics page, including information about refunds.