NEW CASTLE PRESBYTERY
Making Space for Curiosity, Authenticity, and Community
November 11, 9:00am-4:00pm
The Presbyterian Church of Dover, 54 S. State St, Dover, DE 19901
Plenary sessions and selected worships will also be offered online
What does it mean to make space for LGBTQIA+ people in our faith communities? In the decade since the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved inclusive policies on ordination and marriage, our presbyteries and congregations are still dreaming ways to better welcome the full authenticity of all God’s children. As a community, we’ll worship, share stories, and ask the questions on our hearts and minds:
- How can our presbytery and our congregations have courageous conversations and take faithful actions in extending God’s love to all people?
- How can we reach out to our communities beyond Pride events?
- As discrimination rises throughout the United States, how can we affirm and protect LGBTQIA+ youth in our churches?
- How can churches more authentically proclaim God’s welcome to all people?
These are only a few of the questions that have emerged as the PC(USA) — and New Castle Presbytery — seek to live into the promises of a more inclusive Church and world. As a Matthew 25 presbytery, we believe that we welcome all people as we would welcome Christ, and that we can carry out God’s reconciling work by speaking across dividing lines. Whatever questions you or your church may be asking in the process, we hope you’ll join this opportunity to connect with others wondering alongside you.
9:00 Registration opens / Coffee / Snacks
9:30 Welcome and Prayer
9:45 Plenary Panel Discussion: Making Space for Understanding
11:00 Workshop session #1 (See workshops below)
12:15 Lunch (catered by Panera, included in registration)
1:30 Workshop Session #2 (See workshops below)
2:45 Opportunity for discussions by congregation or particular topical groups
3:15 Closing Worship
4:00 Go in peace
Rev. Brian Ellison
Our event will include worship. Inclusive prayer and praise, thoughtful preaching and joyful music will shape our time together. Former GA Co-Moderator and connectional presbyter at New Castle Presbytery, the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, will proclaim the Word.
Our panel discussion will welcome curiosity and genuine questions. A dialogue introducing common language for the LGBTQIA+ community and exploring the day’s theme will be moderated by the Rev. Brian Ellison, executive director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. Brian Ellison has served as Executive Director of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians since 2012, preaching, teaching and providing overall strategic leadership in implementing the organization’s mission.
Rev. Cindy Kohlmann
The Rev. Cindy Kohlmann is the Connectional Presbyter & Stated Clerk for New Castle Presbytery. She has previously served as Pastor for two congregations and Resource Presbyter for the Presbyteries of Boston and Northern New England. From 2018-2020, she also had the honor to serve as Co-Moderator of the 223rd General Assembly of the PC(USA).
Workshops may include…
- Biblical and Theological Support for Inclusion
- Intersectional Conversations about Queer Inclusion with Matthew 25 priorities (racial and immigration justice, more)
- Community outreach: Pride and beyond
- Spiritual Formation for Queer Christians: Coming Out, Creativity and Identity
- Ministry with aging LGBTQIA+ folks
- How Welcoming Are We, Really?: Conducting a welcoming inventory of our worship, community and physical space
- Engaging with today’s politics around LGBTQIA+ issues
- International Engagement on LGBTQIA+ Issues
All are welcome at this event: Church members, pastors, elders and deacons, people in other presbyteries, even non-Presbyterians! Fee is $15, including lunch, but $10 for 3+ more attending from the same church. And if you have any questions, contact Brian Ellison, CNP executive director, at [email protected].
Covenant Conversation: New Castle Presbytery - November 11, 2023