EHF frequently receives requests from congregations asking for help with better understanding community needs and assets as well as ideas for strengthening relationships with individuals and groups in the community. But deciding where to start can often feel daunting, so many people shy away from it. However, EHF is here to help! We are now offering a Community Engagement training to equip congregations and their community partners with the skills needed to build relationships and work collaboratively with people and organizations in the communities they wish to serve.
EHF believes that building healthy communities starts with strengthening community connections and including people impacted by issues to develop effective responses. An adaptable and ongoing process, community engagement involves community members in identifying issues and needs, deciding how to address them, and communicating the work to the larger community.
EHF’s Theory of Change
There are many reasons for involving community at a grassroots level. The most important is that, research shows when you involve those affected by an issue, whether it is poverty, low educational attainment or lack of access to healthcare, the success rate for the resulting interventions will be higher.
The Community Engagement training curriculum includes three modules that can be adapted to meet the needs of individual congregations, organizations or communities. An initial session titled “Approaching Community Engagement” provides a basic introduction to the principles of community engagement and different levels and activities it could entail. EHF will be offering this training throughout the fall across the Diocese. Be on the lookout – we will announce dates and locations as they are scheduled.
For congregations that want to incorporate community-engaged approaches into their outreach, additional sessions will help develop a work plan and strengthen skills.
If you would like more information on the Community Engagement training, click here to contact EHF.