How can Catholic communities respond compassionately and faithfully to the gifts, needs, and life experiences of LGBT people and their families? What skills, knowledge, and talents are needed to address LGBT issues in Catholic environments? What role can pastoral leaders and parishioners play in building bridges between faith communities and those who feel alienated and ostracized because of sexual orientation and gender identity issues?
The “Next Steps” program is an experience of prayer, presentations, personal reflection, dialogue, and planning designed to assist those who seek practical answers to these questions which they can implement in their home parishes, schools, or other ministerial settings. LGBT ministry is not a “one size fits all” endeavor, so emphasis will be placed on making ministerial choices based on each person’s unique ecclesial context.
The program can be conducted either as a weekend or one-day experience.
All those interested in learning to develop LGBT ministry programs are invited to host a “Next Steps” program. Whether your community is just starting an LGBT ministry or is renewing an already existing one, this program can help leaders and volunteers develop the next steps. No pre-requisite knowledge or experience is needed other than a willingness to listen, reflect, and share.
Through interactive discussions, presentations, and guided writing exercises, participants will develop ideas for the best ways to initiate LGBT ministry programs or to develop existing ones. At the close of the weekend, participants will share their plans with the group.
Participants will leave the weekend with a written pastoral plan of realistic ideas and feasible actions that they will endeavor to put into practice in the weeks and months following the weekend. During the weekend, time will be allotted for participants to write up such a plan, with the support of the workshop staff. Follow-up consultation with New Ways Ministry staff after the weekend is also available.
If you are interested in possibly hosting a program, click here.