Along for the Journey:
Pastoral Care for LGBTQIA+ Youth, Part 3

What did we learn?

Part 3 covered how to live into the welcome congregations set for LGBTQIA+ youth, including lock-ins, how to talk to parents, how to talk to the congregation when a youth comes out, and how to live into a policy if challenges arise.

Co-Trainer: Ashley Goff

Ashley is Minister for Spiritual Formation at Church of the Pilgrims (PCUSA) and ordained in the United Church of Christ. Ashley graduated from Union Theological Seminary in NYC where she fell in love with the art of liturgy.  She lives with deep gratitude for several communities which have formed her along the way: Denison University, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, the Open Door Community, and Rikers Island NYC Jail. Ashley also finds life in Springsteen music, beekeeping, urban farming, vinyasa yoga, and her three kids, and loveable spouse.  Ashley blogs at



Co-trainer: Shelley Donaldson

Shelleyshelley_biopic is a youth worker, pastor-in-waiting, wife, artist, writer, LGBTQIA+ advocate, retreat planner, and a lover of Southern food who grew up amongst the pine trees of Georgia and the marshes of South Carolina. She holds degrees in Philosophy and Art from the University of West Georgia, located in Carrollton, GA, and a Master’s of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. She currently works with Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, IL, with youth. She spends much of her time doing hands-on ministry with youth conferences, LGBTQ retreats for clergy, painting, making collages, working and writing on Christian Education, and traveling the world in search of places where the earthly world meets the kin-dom of God through people, culture, and of course, food.

Powerpoint Slides

Click on the links below to access resources and to read more on parts 1 and 2 of the series!

Part 1 – What did we we learn?

  • a review of language and terminology
  • an overview of the current landscape for LGBTQIA+ youth (including risk factors and suicidal ideation)
  • an introduction to what LGBTQ youth need to feel supported in the church and ways congregations can be proactive in their ministry for LGBTQIA+ youth.


Part 2 – What did we learn?

  • how to create a welcoming youth group space
  • how to write and implement policies for bathrooms, camp and church trips
  • how to respond when a youth comes out