Friday, April 17, 2009

Faith-Based Community Organizing Training: May 1-3, Walnut Creek, CA

This event is open to inclusion activists from all denominations. Integrity USA encourages Episcopalians in that region of the country to consider attending. Download the registration form at!


Faith-Based Community Organizing Training

A training opportunity to help increase the number of faith-based communities which openly welcome people of all sexual orientations and gender identities

May 1-3, 2009
Walnut Creek, CA

A Training Resource for Congregations Affiliated with:

* Alliance of Baptists
* American Baptist Churches USA
* Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
* Church of the Brethren
* Community of Christ
* Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
* Mennonite Church USA
* Mennonite Church Canada
* But, anyone from any denomination or church is welcome

Perhaps you are a leader (lay or ordained) in a congregation which is considering becoming welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered (LGBT) persons. Perhaps you are committed deeply to helping other congregations in your denomination become more welcoming of LGBT folks.
Either scenario means that this training will be very helpful to you in honing your skills and gaining more knowledge about how to help congregations through those tough conversations toward a more fully inclusive church.

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 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
* 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
* Personal spiritual enrichment
* Opportunity for growth and challenge
* Intense few days of hard work, laughter, and fun
* Good food

Who should come?

Anyone who is interested in seeing the Church (meaning all churches) become
more welcoming, supportive and inclusive of LGBT persons. This could

* Lay leaders
* Ordained leaders
* Denominational or judicatory leaders
* Members who care about these issues
* Leaders and members in denominational LGBT groups

The training is supported by a grant from the Arcus Foundation to a
coalition of the Affirming Disciples Alliance Inc. (GLAD - Christian Church:
Disciples of Christ); Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists (AWAB -
American Baptist Churches USA, Alliance of Baptists, & Cooperative Baptist
Fellowship); Brethren Mennonite Council for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual &
Transgender Interests (BMC); and Welcoming Community Network (WCN -
Community of Christ). However, anyone from another denomination is welcome.

Training Schedule

A skeleton schedule is as follows:


4:00 p.m. Registration Begins
5:00 p.m. Dinner
9:15 p.m. End for the Day


8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


8:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Please make every effort to arrive for the activities on Friday evening (it
sets the stage for the rest of the weekend) and stay until 2 p.m. on Sunday.
It takes time to travel to the airport from the church, if you do not run
into traffic and airports recommend arriving at least 1 - 2 hours before
your flight. Please book your flight to leave after 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

What does the training cost?

Registration fee includes training, materials, dinner on Friday, lunches on
Saturday and Sunday and snacks.

$60.00 - Registration Fee

The registration deadline is listed in the Registration Packet for each
training event. Cancellation fee is $25.00. No refunds for cancellations
after the registration deadline.


A special rate has been reserved at a hotel near the training location. Room
rates are not guaranteed after specific dates listed in the registration
packet. The rate and contact information is listed in the registration

Every effort will be made to assist in matching roommates, but we cannot
guarantee to provide you with a roommate(s).

Participants are responsible for making their own housing reservations. Be
sure to tell reservations you are with the NFO Project to get the preferred
room rate.

Other Housing Options

Limited host housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Every
effort to assist with transportation to and from the church will be made,
but cannot be guaranteed.

Participants requesting host housing should check the box on the
registration form indicating that request.


Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.
Airports closest to the training location are listed in the registration

Training Location

The training events are usually held at a church or seminary. The location
is included in the registration packet. The street address and web site, if
available, is also included.


* Dinner will be provided on Friday evening.
* Lunch will be provided on Saturday and Sunday.
* Please note on the registration form if you have any food
allergies/restrictions or if you need vegetarian or vegan options.


How do I register?

Download and print a copy of the registration packet for the training event
you wish to attend. Links for the registration packet for each upcoming
training are located at beginning of this page in the column to the right of
the training information.

Complete the included registration form and mail it with your check for the
registration fee, to the address below:

National Field Organizer
c/o The Institute of Welcoming Resources
810 West 31st Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408

Make check or money order payable in US funds to: Brethren Mennonite Council

The registration deadline for each training event is included in the
registration packet. Cancellation fee is $25.00. No refunds for
cancellations after the deadline indicated.

Registration Confirmation

You will receive a registration confirmation e-mail (make sure you give us
an e-mail address) or regular mail (if you do not have e-mail access).

What Else Do I Need to Know?

* Dress is casual.
* Come rested and ready for a wonderful and intense experience!


For questions or more information, contact:

Anita Bradshaw, National Field Organizer

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