And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock — Matthew 7:25

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. — Matthew 16:18

At LDI, we train and coach our participants in community organizing and contemplative practices that can serve as the basis for an Awakened Church. On January 28th and 29th, LDI held its Foundations of Shared Leadership to introduce participants to the five organizing practices that shape the curriculum of our Formation Program. These practices are public narrative, building relationships, structuring teams, developing shared strategy, and taking action.

Amy and Shaun of the EDS team discuss their project

Amy and Shaun of the EDS team discuss their project

More than fifty unique participants attended the Foundations training over the two days. The majority of these participants were on one of the seven teams that will participate in LDI’s Formation Program over the next several months, and our Foundations of Shared Leadership training was the official kick-off to the Formation Program. The Formation teams were organized by people from five different Christian congregations and the Episcopal Divinity School. Between now and June, Formation participants will work with their team to practice leadership skills and develop a plan to address the brokenness in their communities. These teams intend to address issues that include environmental stewardship, developing Latinx ministry, and racism in their community. On this blog, will go in-depth to document the progress of each team throughout the Formation Program.

Participant Alicia Ziegler models a one-to-one while Hazel facilitates the module on relationships

Participant Alicia Ziegler models a one-to-one while Hazel facilitates the module on relationships

To support participants during the Foundations training, we were joined by seven outside facilitators: Hazel Monae, Yani Burgos, Dylan Lazero, Cicia Lee, Michael Alli, Betsy Ericksen, and Seth Woody. Each facilitator worked hard to address the unique needs and contexts of their groups. Hazel also joined LDI’s Executive Director Natalie Finstad and Director of Formation Programs Isaac Martinez in leading our upfront teaching. Lydia Strand, LDI’s Director of Contemplative Programming, used contemplative practice to ground participants in the Christian imperative for reconciliation, in addition to facilitating a small group.

Participants enjoy a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament to energize themselves mid-training.

Participants enjoy a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament to energize themselves mid-training.

After the first day of our January training, participants reported that they learned “sacred listening,” “other-focused leadership,” and a “framework for building a strong team.” Participants and facilitators alike were inspired by the energy of the workshop, the practical expertise of the teaching, and its grounding in the leadership of Christ. At the end of the second training day, one participant wrote that he enjoyed, “The energy and clear witness that you (LDI organizers) exhibited — this commitment was inspiring. I especially loved the guided meditation that we opened with on day 2 — about having Jesus visit our life and what we would show him. Overall - THANK YOU THANK YOU!!” Another participant said that this was, “One of the most productive trainings I've been to -- seriously!”

The LDI staff is so grateful for the presence and effort that our participants contributed to our training last month. We are excited to help our participants build an Awakened Church on the solid rock of community organizing skills. Together, we can empower communities to withstand the rain, flood, and wind of injustice.

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