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Welcomed & Included

Best Practices for Ministry With LGBTQ+ Youth, Young Adults, and Families

March 17-18, 2020
Carol Joy Holling Camp

Ashland, NE


This retreat will guide church leaders and camp professionals in best practices for ministry with youth, young adults, and their families that identify as LGBTQ+. Topics surrounding gender and sexual orientation are prevalent in society but avoided in many congregations and camps. By providing a safe space to educate and create dialogue, ministry leaders and professionals can begin to wrap their heads around what the youth and young adults (and their families) need and how we can respond in a welcoming, inclusive, and loving way.

Facilitator: Austen Hartke

Austen Hartke is the author of Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians, a new book on theology and personal narratives, published by Westminster John Knox Press in 2018. He is also the creator of the YouTube series Transgender and Christian, which seeks to understand, interpret, and share parts of the Bible that relate to gender identity and the lives of transgender individuals. Austen is a graduate of Luther Seminary’s Master of Arts program in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible Studies, and is the winner of the 2014 John Milton Prize in Old Testament Writing from the same institution. He has spoken at conferences all over the country, including The Reformation Project Conferences in 2014 and 2017, the 2016 Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, and the 2018 Why Christian Conference. He also enjoys speaking at colleges and universities, and working with gender-diverse youth and families as the Faith Coordinator for Gender Spectrum. As a transgender person of faith, Austen's greatest passion is helping other trans and gender-non-conforming people see themselves in scripture. Learn more about Austen at


Tuesday, March 17:
12:30 p.m.     Arrival and Check In
1:00 p.m.       Lecture - The Basics: What Do All Those Letters Mean?
3:00 p.m.       Discussion Groups - Crafting Welcoming Language

4:15 p.m.       Lecture - Biblical Support: Part 1 - The Clobber Passages

6:00 p.m.       Dinner

7:00 p.m.       Mixed Lecture and Guided Small Group - Action Steps for Allyship

Wednesday March 18:

7:30 a.m.       Breakfast

8:45 a.m.       Communion Worship

9:30 a.m.       Lecture - Biblical Support: Part 2 - Affirming Scripture

10:30 a.m.     Resource Panel

12:00 p.m.     Lunch

1:00 p.m.       Church Professionals depart



1:30 p.m.       Workshop - Pastoral Care and Liturgy with Adults

3:30 p.m.       Depart or Break before Dinner

Camp Professionals

1:30 p.m.       Break or Option to Join Seminarian Lecture and Discussion

3:30 p.m.       Workshop - Crafting Best Practices for Camps

6:00 p.m.       Dinner & Evening Fellowship Off-Site

Thursday, March 19:

7:30 a.m.       Breakfast

8:30 a.m.       Departure


$50 for programming, meals, and lodging in a double occupancy room.

$150 for a single occupancy room.


If you are a camp professional or seminarian, you are invited to attend the extended workshop! This includes an additional overnight and ends Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. This option adds an additional $50 if you are in a double occupancy room ($100 total) or an additional $150 if you are in a private room ($300 total).

Airport shuttles are available for out-of-town participants. Contact Katherine Albin at or at 402-944-2544 to reserve your ride.


The Sjogren Retreat Center at Carol Joy Holling Camp will be home for this retreat. You'll enjoy rooms with two full beds, a desk and sink. There are also more than 300 acres of land to explore during your down-time and a top-notch kitchen to enhance your retreat experience!


If you have questions about the Welcomed & Included retreat, please contact Katherine Albin by email at or by phone at 402-944-2544.


This event is a Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM) Endorsed Event, offered by NLOM, and is not sponsored by LOM. LOM is not responsible for lack of participation resulting in any endorsed event failing to occur, or hosting site suffering any financial loss or liability.

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