“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.”
Building an Inclusive Church Training is a two-day workshop that provides a structured path for faith communities to explore and embrace welcoming policies at the congregational level. The training is based on the ecumenical Building an Inclusive Church toolkit available for a free download here. The Toolkit draws upon 30 years of experience within a variety of Christian denominations and is biblically and theologically rooted. It uses tools of relational organizing, congregational assessment, conflict management and change theory. Participants emerge with concrete skills to begin a conversation on full inclusion that positions LGBTQ inclusion as an opportunity to unite a faith community, not divide it.
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.
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.
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