What is the European Forum?
The European Forum of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups is an ecumenical association of LGBT Christian groups in Europe.
The European Forum aims to achieve equality and inclusion for LGBT people within and through Christian churches, other religious bodies and multilateral organisations.
The European Forum works for freedom of religion, for human rights and dignity for LGBT people and for an affirmative discourse on human sexuality.
The Board of the European Forum of LGBT Christian groups is happy to remind its member movements of the continuing search for Western European participants to enlist as mentors in the Mentoring Program which is part of the Eastern European Leadership Training project.
The Mentoring Program has the purpose to strengthen LGBT group leaders in Eastern Europe through regular contacts and exchange of experience, to give advice how to deal with difficult group situations, how to do pastoral care and how to handle the general political situation from the perspective of an LGBT Christian group.
So, qualified candidates would be people with several years of experience both in churches, parishes and/or LGBT Christian communities and/or in the LGBT movement. We also advise you to "look around" in search of qualified people in your groups.
The Mentoring Program starts in September 2014 and ends in February 2016 and will be based on a monthly exchange (by Skype, telephone call etc.). It includes the participation at the kick-off seminar in Samara (Russia) and organizing a visit for the mentoring partner to your group.
Please, read the more detailed description below and register, if you are interested, with the application form, below.
For further questions, you may address the secretary of the European Forum and leader of the project Irene Schwyn.
The Mentoring Program offers a continued accompaniment for selected participants of the Summer School in eight pairings. Each pair will consist of a partner from Eastern Europe and one from Western Europe. They will be matched based on skills and topics they wish to work on; a common language between the matched partners is a requirement. The program runs from September 2014 to February 2016, and will be accompanied by the program coordinators.
The Mentoring Program is intended to offer an additional line of support to LGBT Christian leaders in Eastern Europe. The program will give the participants an opportunity to discuss questions of group dynamics and leadership, theology and faith, social pressure and activities to address public opinion, or anything else that is important to both partners in the pair. The type of relationship wanted is an accompanying one.
The Mentoring Program starts with an initial meeting in Samara the day after the Forum of Christian LGBT groups from Eastern Europe and Central Asia (dates of the Forum: on 11-14 September, the meeting opening the Mentoring Program will take place directly after that Forum on 14-15 September, at the same venue), and ends in February 2016. During this time, the partners are expected to meet by Skype at least once a month, and twice yearly, also by Skype, with the project coordinators. Additionally, the partner from Eastern Europe should visit the partner from Western Europe once during the project period, and attend events there that are useful for their work in Eastern Europe.
As for the financial aspect of the Program, for the approved participants of the Program, the following costs are covered: travel to the Samara meeting and accommodation, conference costs and meals there, both for the initial meeting and the Eastern European Forum; AND one visit to Western Europe for the partner from the East (the budget for this has to be pre-approved by the coordinators of the Mentoring Program).
Selection of the participants will be made by the project coordinators. All applicants will be informed no later than summer 2014. Criteria for the selection include the content of the applications and availability of matching partner (the partners must be able to converse without a translator, and their expectations and needs should correspond). If several applicants are similarly qualified, priority is given to women and transpeople.