Training Will Teach Churches to Welcome LGBT Community

Grace Lutheran Church will host the ‘Building an Inclusive Church Training Weekend’ November 12-14. The Training begins at noon on Friday and continues through Sunday at 3:00 pm. Registration is $85 and includes meals. Scholarships and housing assistance are available by request. To register go to lcna.org/component/rsevents/event/10-houston-bic registration forms are also available at Grace Lutheran Church.

Building an Inclusive Church is a movement supported by several Christian denominations – Methodist, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, members of the United Church of Christ, and the ELCA (Grace’s denomination). Its purpose is to teach churches how to become more intentional and effective in welcoming the LGBT community. In the ELCA, the designation for a church which has done this is Reconciling in Christ.

The training has two purposes. First, to encourage individual churches which are not yet formally welcoming to become so. Secondly to organize those churches (such as Grace) who are already open and welcoming to become better able to spread the word of the need for intentional inclusivity to our neighboring congregations.

The training offers vital skill-building exercises so that Core Teams can be formed which can build momentum for full inclusion. The training offered includes:
  • Faith-based organizing techniques
  • Congregation conflict theory and resolution
  • Managing change in congregations
  • Conversations around Biblical material.
Grace is the only Reconciling in Christ congregation in The Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the ELCA (a Synod is a regional church body - the Gulf Coast Synod includes over 100 congregations and stretches form Brenham to New Orleans). Many other area churches strive to be welcoming but no other congregation has followed Grace’s lead by taking this step.

As the host church for this event, Grace is seeking volunteers to assist with the training:
  • Host housing – places are needed for out-of-town folks who can’t afford a hotel to stay for two nights (no meals will need to be provided)
  • Cooks and kitchen crews (3) – Grace will be responsible for preparing and serving 6 meals for the participants at the church – Friday dinner; Saturday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; Sunday breakfast and lunch. (Food costs will be covered.)
  • Transportation – One or two people are needed to drive out-of-towners to and from the hotel or host housing.
If you are able to provide any of these services, please contact Laura B at 832/314-2821. Your assistance is vitally important to the success of this event, and will be greatly appreciated.

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