News from AllianceQ: September 2018

Welcoming Congregation Program Leaders Meet in Chicago

The Welcoming Congregation Program Leaders met in Chicago this last Aug 20-22 to regroup and revitalize. The WCPL is a gathering of the leadership of Welcoming Congregation Programs such as AllianceQ’s Open & Affirming Ministry Program from across the country and Canada.

Robin Knauerhase, Moderator of the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance Council, and Mark Johnston, Executive Director of AllianceQ’s Open & Affirming Ministry program attended, along with leadership from several other welcoming church programs.

The group lately has been struggling in an era of reduced resources and increased opposition, and at this meeting the leadership has recommitted to its focus on building up welcoming congregations such as the Disciples O&A Ministries, as well as committing to work wherever possible on intersectional justice issues. The gathered leadership was clear that only when we work together will oppression be overcome. Working separately and at cross purposes only serves those who wish to see oppression continue.

The group is also working to produce a new version of the Building an Inclusive Church Toolkit, the material which AllianceQ and most of the WCPL organizations use to promote welcoming ministry in each of our denominations. The new Toolkit includes more information on transgender issues and gender diversity, as well as some new and improved explanations and examples.

Dr. Johnston has been involved in this update of the Toolkit, and the group plans to have the new resource available in January.

In the meantime, the current version of the Building an Inclusive Church Toolkit remains an excellent resource for churches seeking to increase welcome and journey towards becoming Open & Affirming. You can find the Toolkit here, and you can find suggestions on how to use this and other resources here.

And of course, you can always contact Mark Johnston at mark@disciplesallianceq.org for information and resources.