The Many Paths Spiritual Care Team is an intentionally multi-faith, multi-racial, multi-gender, multi-generational, multi-lingual team of people available during the Creating Change conference to provide care, support, or just talk with conference attendees. We are looking for religious leaders to be “on call” during the 2019 conference as part of this team.
What Is Creating Change?
Creating Change is the annual conference of the National LGBTQ Task Force. Now in its 31st year, the conference is an organizing and skills-building event for the LGBTQ community and our allies, attended by 3,500 people from all over the United States and beyond. The five-day program includes more than 350 workshops and training sessions, plus plenary sessions and networking opportunities.
The upcoming Creating Change conference will be held in Detroit from January 23-27, 2019. To find out more about the conference, visit the Creating Change website.
How Does the Spiritual Care Team Work?
During the conference, the Spiritual Care Team is collectively available to provide care to conference attendees, by way of a dedicated spirituality room (the Many Paths Gathering Space) and a text message hotline that is live during the conference. The team, the room, and the hotline are organized by an eight-person coordinating team.
All members of the Spiritual Care Team wear colorful arm bands so they are visibly identifiable as part of the team during the conference. Team members communicate with one another through the free app GroupMe. When a text comes through the hotline, the coordinators receive it and reach out to the rest of the team via GroupMe to match the person in need with someone who can provide care.
In addition, all members of the team spend some time in the Many Paths Gathering Space so that attendees can drop by for care or someone to talk with. There are also spiritual offerings scheduled in the space, such as prayer, ritual, and spiritual practice.
What Are the Requirements of Team Membership?
All team members must self-identify as religious, spiritual, or humanist leaders who are capable of providing spiritual care; must consider themselves a part of the LGBTQ community; and must be able to honor and be present, nonjudgmentally, with people from all different faiths, traditions, and spiritual paths, as well as seekers of justice and truth who may not claim a particular spiritual path.
All team members are asked to commit to being “on call” while they are at the conference, and to also spend a minimum of one hour per day in the Many Paths Gathering Space to “staff” the space and provide a caring presence for anyone who stops by. In exchange, team members are considered Creating Change volunteers and can attend the conference for free.
Being “on call” simply means being present and prepared to respond to needs if they arise and if you are emotionally available to do so in the moment. Most team members provide spiritual care to one or two people per day. Hotline users are often looking for support from someone of a particular tradition or identity.
You do not need to attend the entire conference to be part of the Spiritual Care Team. Team members are welcome to attend for a single day, multiple days, or the entire conference. (The Many Paths Gathering Space is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7am to midnight.)
How Do I Sign Up?
To sign up to join the Spiritual Care Team …
Once the coordinators have connected with you, you’ll receive more details about how to get registered as a conference volunteer.