Participant Testimonials

Below are reflections from people who have attended workshops with LDI.

Seth and Alicia model a one-to-one during the module on relationships

Seth and Alicia model a one-to-one during the module on relationships

Foundations of Shared Leadership

When asked what they enjoyed about our January workshop, participants said:

"Thank you for all the trainers who used storytelling to guide their teaching! And thank you our facilitator Seth - He did an excellent job taking all of our different contexts and creating something entirely useful. Very impressive. Great variety of voices up front. It was great to see staff and non-staff trainers and presenters. I really appreciate the structure: -learn-do-learn-do-learn-do etc."

"Wow, everything. It was so well-done. It moved well and was engaging, active, fun."

Ugee models her pipe cleaner eyeglasses

Ugee models her pipe cleaner eyeglasses

"Organizing as a team, being challenged to move from words to action, tools to be successful, energy in the room/at the table"

"Great facilitation, food, community. Multidisciplinary -- mix between large group, small group, individual. One of the most productive trainings I've been to -- seriously!"

"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!!"

Lambert at our Foundations of Shared Leadership Training

Lambert at our Foundations of Shared Leadership Training

LDI's Training at Sanctuary UCC

Reflecting on his experience with LDI, Rev. Lambert Rahming wrote:

"On the first week of Epiphany, a glowing light shone bright in Sanctuary.

Two wise ones visited our manger storefront, and left us all in utter amazement...

Jesse and Isaac had us to perceive that being a leader is ours to achieve.

With all of these skills, something can happen, like launching a project and taking some action.

This was the very last gift from the wise, to gather a team and to strategize.

So together we came, both young and old, to devise a plan so simple, yet bold:

To make those around us sincerely aware that Sanctuary wants to help and to care." --

November 12th Collective Call to Action 

A Life Together wrote the following after attending the 11/12 workshop:

The alter at our November 12th training

The alter at our November 12th training

"At the LDI training, we spent the morning learning how faith communities unite our internal spiritual selves with external groups. Working in a church, it is so much easier to only focus on the external—the events, the sermons, the community outreach—while ignoring the internal side of reconciliation. I had two separate circles with the church floating in the No Man’s Land in between....But on that Saturday, I felt the presence of Christ as we took a mental walk around Charlottesville and a deep sense of reconciliation—with myself and with my past. And I felt something in my soul loosen, and my heart opened up to rejoin the two divided spheres. Going forth, my relationship with external communities was emboldened and strengthened by that internal work, and I found I could listen more deeply and love others more fully when I also listened to and loved myself."

When asked “What did you learn today on the relationship between community organizing, contemplative practice, and reconciliation?”, respondents said:

“The three are all necessary feeding, sending, equipping, restoring”

“The infinity loop: contemplative practice is the work on internal reconciliation, and community organizing is the work of external reconciliation. They feed each other and are always cyclical and related. And necessary.”

“Contemplation prepares and fosters an inward space, posture, and connectedness that is a necessary...for fruitful reconciliation in community/community organizing -- truly welcoming the stranger/other and meeting god in the midst and perceiving”

Michael facilitates a group at our January training

Michael facilitates a group at our January training

October Advanced Facilitation Workshop

Reflecting on the Advanced Facilitation training, LDI facilitator Michael Alli wrote:

"After participating in the Advanced Facilitation Training at LDI, the phrase that comes to mind to describe my feelings are 'personally revitalized'...

"...The teaching points and framework was like cool water on a heart wrestling with difficult misunderstood emotions. I never looked at reconciliation as an ongoing process, but rather as an event. Seeing it as a process felt natural for me to visualize, as I reflected on the ups and downs of my past personal relationships. Two of the biggest teaching moments I experienced was about 'letting go being different from disassociating', and the contemplative thought practice that says it's 'not about fixing or restoring an image.'

"These two teaching points taught me that acceptance of a situation doesn't necessarily mean giving up, it means allowing mental space to find way to grow from where you are. A mental practice where you can be in touch with present circumstances, but not consumed to the point of paralysis."