The Building an Inclusive Church trainings help you design and implement a process for your congregation to publicly and intentionally welcome people of all gender identities and sexual orientations. Building an Inclusive Church equips you with ways to create dialogue, deepening relationships throughout the congregation rather than sparking debate and division.
If you are currently in a welcoming process, if you are thinking about starting a welcoming process, or if you fear what would happen if you began openly discussing a welcome to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, this training could be for you! Feel free to invite your clergy and other members of your congregation to attend with you. And because this curriculum is shared across the ecumenical Welcoming Church Movement, feel free to share this with friends from other denominations.!
Upcoming Building an Inclusive Church training events
In partnership with the Institute for Welcoming Resources, ReconcilingWorks offers these trainings several times a year in various locations.
To see a current schedule and to register, please see the Institute for Welcoming Resource website.
What is it?
You will have opportunities to engage through a mix of presentation, hands-on practice, and small group discussion. Many of the tools you will learn come from faith-based relational organizing. Grounded in scripture and discipleship, this training allows you to explore your own Christian call to hospitality and evangelism. The training is centered on the Building an Inclusive Church Toolkit and includes the tools of Graceful Engagement, the One-to-One Visit, Framing, and Strategic Storytelling.
Who should come?
Lutherans and others interested in seeing faith communities become more welcoming, supportive and inclusive of LGBT persons. This could include:
- Lay leaders
- Ordained and other rostered leaders
- Denominational or judicatory leaders
- Members who care about these issues
- Leaders and members in denominational LGBT groups
What to expect?
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 LGBT 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
- 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
- Hard work, laughter, and fun
What to bring?
- Well rested body, mind and spirit
- Your favorite writing implement
- Casual clothing and one church-going outfit
Each participant is requested to obtain and read a copy of Doing Justice: Congregations and Community Organizing by Dennis A Jacobsen. This book, available on line for about $14 from Amazon, will enable you to understand more quickly the organizing concepts used in the training.
Do you want to know how to make a difference in your life by making a difference in the lives of others? Do you want to learn how to help create the changes you and we seek? This video will help you understand how Building an Inclusive Church will help you do that. Come, Learn, Do, Create.