Are you interested in building community relationships, but don’t quite know how to get started? A number of conferences and training sessions can help provide the practical skills you need to get a new initiative started on the right foot. They can provide opportunities to gain inspiration from thought leaders and connect with others doing similar work. EHF has identified a number of existing conferences and training opportunities that are relevant to congregational leaders interested in addressing pressing community needs. We can also provide financial support to help cover the costs of attending, if needed.
In 2015, 11 congregations took advantage of conference and training opportunities by sending clergy and parishioners to one or more of these events with support from EHF. Events included the Mission Driven Conference, Texas Rural Leadership Conference, Texas Hunger Initiative’s “Hunger and Poverty Summit” and the Texas Christian Community Development Conference (TxCCDN).
In response to strong interest from congregations in mental health, EHF is also offering Mental Health First Aid Workshops. More than 100 people from 15 congregations have already been certified in Mental Health First Aid as a result of these workshops. We’ve now scheduled additional sessions.
Many of these opportunities are annual conferences hosted specifically for non-profit and community organizations. They offer a great opportunity to learn from experts, develop skills and also network with similar individuals and organizations.
Upcoming Conferences and Training Events:
- Texas Rural Leadership Conference – June 21st – 23rd, 2016 – San Antonio, TX
The Texas Rural Leadership Program, housed in Texas AgriLife Extension at Texas A&M University, hosts it annual conference to gather fellow Texan leaders in business, education, government and religious organizations. The conference seeks to equip attendees with the skills to strengthen leadership capacity, identify community assets and resources that can be used to create change in their communities and develop a community-engaged action plan. In 2016, parishioners from St. Phillip’s in Hearne attended and have now brought the TRLP training for community leaders back to Robertson County. Trinity Jacksonville is also launching the program this year in partnership with their local Presbyterian church. The March edition of Congregation Connection featured a story on St. Stephen’s Liberty and their involvement with TRLP.
- Mission Driven Conference – September 8th – 9th, 2016 – Austin, TX
Mission Capital (formerly Greenlights) in Austin hosts the annual Mission Driven Conference for community leaders who seek to explore how social innovation approaches can accelerate achievement of community transformation goals. As a summit for social innovation, Mission Driven brings innovative approaches, fresh ideas and the right connections to help address social issues attendees may be passionate about. In 2015, six Episcopal congregations sent leaders to this conference with EHF support. Participants said they found the conference energizing, inspiring, and helpful in thinking about their community engagement efforts in new ways.
- TxCCDN, No Need Among You Conference – October 5th – 7th, 2016 – Dallas, TX
The Texas Christian Community Development Network hosts their annual conference to connect churches, non-profit practitioners and volunteers from across Texas to learn about community development and empowerment. The conference helps equip leaders with skills to support their community efforts. The event includes nationally-known speakers in the field, opportunities to network and various training workshops. The Christian Community Development workshops will include topics of poverty, relief and development, racial reconciliation, social justice, health policy and various other social issues. Members of St. John the Divine attended this conference last year with EHF support in order to learn skills for advancing their community partnerships in Houston’s 3rd Ward neighborhood.
- Mental Health First Aid Workshops – Various dates throughout the Diocese
In response to congregations’ desire to address local mental health needs, EHF is offering Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training in partnership with congregations throughout the Diocese. MHFA is an eight-hour course designed to equip people to help someone who is developing a mental health need or experiencing a crisis. It is an evidence-based program that has been shown to build mental health literacy, and help people who have no clinical training to better understand and respond to signs of mental illness and effectively refer people to professional help. We currently have five trainings remaining for the months of April and May. Please visit our schedule for more details.
Strengthening the knowledge, skills and capacity of congregational leaders with the heart to transform community health is central to our work. We frequently update our Learning Opportunities page to keep congregations aware of upcoming events and trainings offered throughout the Diocese and the nation. You can also find links to request financial support for each event on this page.
If you or your congregation identify other training opportunities that are of interest and align with EHF’s mission, please email us to let us know about them.