Building an Inclusive Church Training
Prior to the beginning of the MLP National Conference on Friday, September 27, we will offer a dynamic Building an Inclusive Church training from 9am to 5pm. This curriculum was developed in partnership with our ecumenical sister organizations and the Institute for Welcoming Resources. In addition to this training, there are opportunities to participate in the Building an Inclusive Church training throughout the United States (see listings below).
“Helping the Church be more faithful and accountable to the gospel values of radical hospitality and extravagant welcome requires something of us all. We need to know how to share our stories strategically, we need to know how to listen with genuine curiosity and engagement. We also need to root ourselves biblically and shape our welcoming processes around the culture and personality of each of our congregations. That’s why the Building An Inclusive Church workshops are invaluable. In them, participants are equipped with the skills to come home and help lead their congregations through a welcoming process or empower their congregations to witness for LGBT justice in the broader society.
Presbyterians and other multifaith partners used the skills they learned in the Building an Inclusive Church workshops to help them become engaged in the Minnesota marriage equality struggle, as well as successful non-discrimination and anti-bullying campaigns in several other states.
One translation of the Micah 6:8 text is ‘and what does God require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk PREPARED with your God.’ Building an Inclusive Church is a powerful way for us, as Presbyterians, to walk prepared with God…prepared to offer Christ’s hand of hospitality and justice in real and concrete ways.”
~Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel, Institute for Welcoming Resources and Faith Work Director
Upcoming training opportunities
For detailed schedules, registration and travel information, visit the Institute for Welcoming Resources.
- Sept. 14, 2013, Pittsburgh, PA
- Sept. 27, 2012, Tucson, AZ (MLP National Conference)
- October 4-5, 2013, San Antonio, TX
- October 25-26, 2013, Chicago, IL
- November 1-2, 2013, Minneapolis, MN
- November 8-9, 2013, Dunedin, FL (Tampa area)
- November 8-9, 2013, Ada, MI
- November 23, 2013, Sacramento, CA
- Feb. 21-22, 2014, Columbus, OH
- Feb. 28-March 1, 2014, Cleveland, OH
What to expect from this training?
The training has been designed specifically with congregations and their leaders in mind. We will explore topics which will help you to become a more effective leader in working with congregations on issues related to human sexuality and gender identity for the purpose of helping a congregation discern God’s call to become more welcoming and inclusive, particularly of LGBTQ persons. Topics include:
- Faith-based community organizing techniques
- Congregational conflict theory and resolution
- Managing change in congregations well
- Effective strategies for helping congregations discern the call to be welcoming
- Building relationships for change
- Dealing with difficult conversations around biblical material, stereotypes, the “b” and the “t” questions, and other areas of concern
- Opportunity to build relationships with others who share your concerns
- Personal spiritual enrichment
- Opportunity for growth and challenge
- Intense few days of hard work, laughter, and fun
Who should come?
Anyone who is interested in seeing the Church (meaning all churches) become more welcoming, supportive and inclusive of LGBTQ persons. This could include:
- Ruling Elders
- Teaching Elders
- Denominational or presbytery leaders
- Practical Theology professors at PC(USA) seminaries
- Members who care about these issues
- Leaders and members in denominational LGBTQ groups
The training materials for Building an Inclusive Church are available in our resources area.