Be Encouraged participants and facilitators put their hands together for a UMC where all gifts are celebrated.
In April of 2015, candidates for licensed and ordained ministry in The UMC who also identified as LGBTQ gathered at Camp Aldersgate in Rhode Island for a weekend of support, growth, conversation, and strategy. This retreat was one step in the journey of leadership in this new day in The United Methodist Church, a day in which all those called by God are supported and equipped, mentored and challenged in their vocational development.
An altar with symbols of our ministry
Our closing worship service gave voice to the gifts we all share, and the gift of ministry in Christ’s name.
At the retreat, participants from around the United States worshipped and relaxed, laughed and wept, and helped one another develop skills, strategies, confidence, and assurance in navigating the candidacy process with authenticity and savvy. In the process, we also developed relationships of support and friendship to last a lifetime.
Here we share some of those best practices, ideas, resources, and guidelines, and hope to organize our efforts for future retreats and other work to help persons navigating the candidacy process as a those who identify as GLBTQ.