Becoming Faithfully Inclusive

A training series. To discuss bringing these training opportunities to your area contact Alex Shanks at alex@equalityohio.org, or 614-224-0400.

Introductory Level Course (101)

Compassionate Competency

Compassionate = to suffer with. Feeling or showing sympathy or concern for others. Competent = to have the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to do something successfully.

In this training we will gain the necessary knowledge to successfully sympathize with the LGBTQ people in our midst.

We will address the following commonly asked questions: What does LGBTQ (and the rest of the acronym) stand for? Why has the word queer become more acceptable? What is the difference between gender and sexuality?

Intermediate Level Courses (201)

Faithful Kinship

We often think of being an ally, or even an activist, as the ultimate goal for anyone who wants to support their LGBTQ friends and family, or the greater LGBTQ community. Unfortunately, our understanding of ally has been watered down by years of overuse and misrepresentation. Additionally, as people of faith we have a moral imperative that drives us to exist in the world while acknowledging our higher purpose.

In this training we will explore the idea of “being an ally” and answer the question “who are my kin?”

Sanctuary: creating a welcoming space for the genderqueer community and their families

A sanctuary is a place of refuge. It is a place where all who enter have solace from the ills of the world, and where the humanity and dignity of all is honored and celebrated.

Trans and other gender-nonconforming people are often the subject of irrational fear and misunderstood disdain. This is at odds with many communities of faith that seek to share love and grace. What can a faith community do to stand in opposition to society’s intolerance? How can people of faith create a space that lives up to higher expectations? In this training we will discuss the spiritual and physical characteristics of a faith community that is ready to serve as a sanctuary for those with gender-nonconforming identities.

Tending and Keeping the Soul

Caring for one’s soul is a requirement for living and leading a healthy life. Unfortunately, when we choose to prioritize soul care, that decision is rarely celebrated. Furthermore, those who claim an LGBTQ identity are regularly subject to attacks that directly impact one’s soul.

What are the unique challenges to soul care that LGBTQ people face in the context of faith communities? How can a faith community begin to create a culture that cares for the souls of LGBTQ members? What about when our leader is also an LGBTQ person? ? These are some of the questions we will tackle in this session.

Advanced Level Courses (301)

Please note: these trainings are meant for people and communities of faith who are interested in making justice and advocacy part of their lives.

The Advocate’s Call

Every major religion holds justice and charity as an important value. When we take a stand to advocate for a more just society or engage in acts of charity we are living into a higher purpose: a calling. As people of faith it is important that our work is informed by our theology.

Can we be people of faith if we don’t advocate for justice? What is a theology of justice?

During this training we will share theologies of justice from different traditions and consider their impact on our call as advocates.

Organizing for Faithful Action

What is the difference between an organizer and an activist? Do organizers and activists serve a particular role in faith communities? How do I know if my community supports my cause? How do I change their minds?

Now that we have some understanding of why justice work is important for people of faith, we will take some time to determine how you can engage communities of faith around issues of justice, such as LGBTQ equality. This isn’t a “one size fits all” solution, but you should leave this training with an understanding of your role and the role of others, some possible next steps for your community, and some general skills and knowledge that will aid you in your progress toward taking communal action.

To discuss bringing these training opportunities to your area contact Alex Shanks at alex@equalityohio.org, or 614-224-0400.