To say that the last 12 months have been stressful is an understatement. A global pandemic, contentious election, social unrest, inclement weather, and any number of other issues have pressed on each one of us from every angle. It is with this awareness that we enter the season of Lent.

The season of Lent started this past Wednesday with the celebration of Ash Wednesday, and ends on Easter Sunday. Traditionally Lent is celebrated for about 6 weeks, or 40 days, which draws on the tradition of Jesus fasting in the wilderness for 40 days before he began his public ministry.

Most people celebrating Lent give up something they enjoy (sweets, chocolate, alcohol, social media) or pick up something they might not do regularly (help around the house, devotional reading, social service). The intent is to renew oneself in preparation for Easter, drawing closer to God, serving others, and centering yourself.

Berkeley School of Theology is committed to the exploration of faith in its many dimensions as we seek to build communities of hope, justice, and reconciliation. Many times, that work starts in ourselves. Lent is a wonderful time, especially this year, to pause from the humdrum of life, to enter a season of renewal, and to intentionally do some things to draw closer to God. Even if celebrating Lent isn’t part of your regular practice of faith, this year feels like we all need that sense of renewal more than ever. May God, who is merciful, renew us all this Lenten season.

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BST is saddened to hear of the passing of alum and former professor Myron Chartier (’63). Myron was a professor at ABSW 1971-1973 and along with his wife Janet, was named as alum of the year—the first couple to be named as alum of the year.

Myron R. Chartier, aged 83, of Davidson, North Carolina, passed away into God’s love on January 23, 2021. Myron was born January 13, 1938 in Fort Morgan, Colorado. He had a distinguished career within American Baptist Churches USA as a minister, professor and writer, publishing books, sermons, papers and devotionals. Myron was a caring, enthusiastic lover of life, family, people, God and the church of Jesus Christ. He is survived by his spouse, Janet A. Chartier of Davidson, his children Melody S. Chartier of Shutesbury, Massachusetts, and Timothy P. Chartier of Davidson, and two grandchildren.

Berkeley School of Theology sends condolences and prayers for all of Myron’s friends and family.


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REV. Dr. James Brenneman, President
Rev. Dr. LeAnn Flesher, VP of Academics & Professor
Sam Fielder, Executive Assistant to the President

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