Welcomed & Included

Monday, Sept. 11 - Tuesday, Sept. 12
(Extended to Wednesday, Sept. 13 for Camp Professionals)

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 big in society but avoided in many churches and camps. By providing a safe space to educate and create dialogue, church leaders and camp professionals can begin to wrap their heads around what the youth and young adults (and their families) need and how we can respond with welcome and inclusion.


Austen Hartke is 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 Conference in Atlanta, the Gay Christian Network Conferences in Houston and in Pittsburg, and the 2016 Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference. Currently Austen lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he is working on a collection of biblical and modern narratives from gender-non-conforming people of faith, to be published with Westminster John Knox Press in Spring of 2018. As a transgender person of faith, his greatest passion is helping other trans and gender-non-conforming people see themselves in scripture.

Learn more about Austen at http://austenhartke.com


Monday, September 11

12:30 - 1 p.m. – Arrival and Registration
1-3 p.m. Lecture – Austen Hartke – The Basics: language, ground rules, etc…
3-5:30- p.m. – Discussion Groups – Crafting welcoming language and backing it up
6 p.m. Dinner
7 – 9 p.m. Mixed Lecture & Guided Small Group
    -   What can your congregation/camp do to support LGBTQ youth and families?
    -   High School Youth Group topics & guides 

Tuesday, September 12

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 – 9:15 a.m. Communion Worship 
9:30 – 10  Biblical Support
10-12 Family Counselor & Other Resources
12 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. Depart


1:30 – 5:30 p.m. Crafting best practices for camps
6 p.m. Dinner
7 p.m. Evening Fellowship, Overnight option

Wednesday, September 13

7:30 - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast and depart

Retreat Housing

Carol Joy Holling’s Sjogren Retreat Center  will be home for this retreat. You’ll enjoy rooms with two full beds, a desk and sink. Restrooms and showers are across the hall. There are also more than 300 acres of land to explore during your down-time and top-notch kitchen staff and dining space to enhance your retreat experience!


Conference - $50 (includes double occupancy room)
Private room - $200 additional 

Extended workshop and overnight for camp professionals - additional $50

Sorry - no discount for day commuter rates. 

NOTE: We are able to provide this retreat at a greatly discounted rate because of the generous support of donors. 

LOM Members

This event is endorsed by Lutheran Outdoor Ministries (LOM). If you are an LOM member and need scholarship assistance, please contact Randy Youngquist-Thurow at eventscoordinator@lomnetwork.org.

Questions? Contact Amanda Sliva at asliva@nlom.org or 402-944-2544.