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Be Encouraged

Be Encouraged: Leadership Development
for GLBTQ inquirers & candidates for ordination
in The United Methodist Church

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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

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.

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.

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You are invited to learn more about the retreat logistics, learn about the Be Encouraged project, or contact us with any questions.

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Be Encouraged 2015 Retreat

The Reconciling Committee of New England Annual Conference’s
Board of Church & Society is excited to sponsor

Be Encouraged: A Leadership Development Retreat
for GLBTQ inquirers & candidates for ordination
in The United Methodist Church

April 17-19, 2015
Camp Aldersgate, Rhode Island

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This retreat is designed to connect GLBTQ-identified candidates with a set of peers grappling with similar issues, develop strategies for coping with and overcoming discriminatory ordination rules, provide encouragement from out clergy, and expand tools for effectively managing pastoral and personal identities in a homophobic context.

Participants from the New England Annual Conference and beyond are invited to gather together for support, resourcing, and acquiring skills for navigating the candidacy process as a person who identifies as GLBTQ, including:

  • Naming strategies for discussing gender identity and/or sexual orientation with District Committees on Ministry and Boards of Ordained Ministry

  • Describing methods for identifying and responding to potential biases that arise in their ministry contexts

  • Articulating positive contributions to ministry made possible by their identity as someone who is GLBTQ and called to ordained ministry in The UMC

You are invited to learn more about the retreat logistics, submit an application, learn about the Be Encouraged project, or contact us with any questions.

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