2016 Fund Raising Appeal!

November 15, 2016


Dear Valued SAT Alumni and Friends,

SAT invites you to invest your prayers, your energy, and your financial contributions in our Mission and Vision.  With an emphasis on “applied theology,” SAT participants experience personal renewal in body, mind, and spirit that prepares them for inspired action in the church and in the world.  To quote one of our alumni, “I came to the SAT Sabbatical with my spiritual well stagnating.  I left with it bubbling and teeming with life.”

Social luminary and religious leader, Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, has remarked, “If anything has brought the world to the brink of destruction, it must surely be the loss of Sabbath.”  The School of Applied Theology (SAT), an affiliate of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), is an exemplar of the ongoing value of the Sabbatical and Sabbath tradition: contemplation, study, reflection, worship, and prayer are interwoven into a holistic experience, so that depleted spiritual care providers, change-makers, leaders, teachers, chaplains, missionaries, and pastoral agents may be replenished: “I have come that you may have life, life in abundance” (John 10:10).   

Please join SAT in supporting those in need of Sabbatical, such as SAT alumna Sr. Bernice Gotelli, PBVM, ’15-’16, who after more than fifty years of non-stop ministry, including twenty seven years as the chaplain at a large pediatric hospital and trauma center—Children’s Hospital Oakland—was looking for a sabbatical program offering an opportunity to process the many children’s deaths she had experienced:

As I approached retirement I also longed to have time and space to strengthen my relationship with the Lord.

All of this and more I found practically in my own backyard.  The School of Applied Theology (SAT) is the gem I discovered that covered those desires and so much more.  

Forming community with students from around the world opened me to cultures I had only read about.  Together we attended classes dealing with theology, art, self-care, sexuality, prayer, social justice, moral theology, and world religions.  We attended symphonies, practiced tai chi, made trips to Yosemite and other nearby and not so nearby places, participated in days of prayer in ocean front settings or wooded retreat centers, sat together for contemplative prayer, attended liturgies of various sorts, and ministered to street people.  We chose from a variety of spiritual directors to assist with our varied issues and backgrounds.  All of this was done in a spirit of sabbatical—rest in the Lord.  

Thanks to the internet the friendships we formed are still nourished.  Leaving sabbatical and now returning to an intense part time ministry I do so in a different spirit having learned the need for balance in my life.  And, yes, I do believe my relationship with the Lord has been enriched through SAT.

Critical to being able to provide this Sabbatical experience is our increasing reliance on gifts to support the scholarships we provide to those unable to afford the full cost of the program.   Again, this year we will be earmarking all scholarship gifts to the Maureen Therese McGroddy Scholarship Fund as an on-going tribute to her years of service at SAT.  No matter how you wish your gift to SAT to be used, please know we are deeply grateful for your support.  You may send your gift by mail in the enclosed envelope or you may contribute online by going to our website, www.satgtu.org and clicking on the “Giving” link in the upper right hand corner of our home page, which accepts both one-time donations as well as recurring contributions.  

Thank you for your generosity.  May God continue to bless your rest, your work, and your ministries.  

In communion,

Carrie Rehak, Ph.D.
Executive Director