Communities of faith and spirituality play a pivotal role in bringing about the cultural and political transformation needed to address climate change. They have the capability and capacity to advocate in powerful ways for climate, racial, and economic justice.
But many lack the skills and confidence to be strong change agents. Be the Spark is a leadership development workshop series that can help.
In a dynamic and experiential learning environment, Be the Spark teaches premier organizing tools and strategic approaches. Participants learn how to invite the gifts and skills of those in their community to take sustained and creative action. They come away with the confidence to activate their communities in building a more just and sustainable world.
We typically hold a Be the Spark workshop series in February/March of each year. If you would like to be notified when one is scheduled, email [email protected].
We also offer an "on-demand" series at any time. Email [email protected] if you are interested in bringing Be the Spark to your congregation, denominational team, or multi-community group.
Need something shorter? Choose a customized "mini" Be the Spark workshop for community leaders and organizers who want to focus on a particular development area or get a preview for the full Be the Spark program. Click here to request a mini workshop.
Be the Spark helped me build confidence and a systems/complexity-oriented approach, both of which have been essential for my work in climate justice. The workshop also provided me with a sense of groundedness and connection with the climate movement that has supported (and will continue to support) my work over time.
— Rachel Kerr, St Anthony Park United Church of Christ
When a speaker at my parish community told me about Be The Spark, I realized it was just the push I needed to move forward. After going through the program, I learned that meeting people, listening to their stories, and building relationships gives People Power. Now I have planning strategies and how to take action that helps make the Change.
— Peg Musegades, Pax Christi Catholic Community, Eden Prairie
“Be the Spark helps you connect what is deepest within you (your faith commitments, your experiences, and your dreams) to a vision of a better world, and then take concrete steps toward making that vision a reality. More than that, you will meet others who will share this work, and who will become companions on the road.”
— Rev. Susan Mullin, Faith United Methodist Church, United Methodist Church Global Ministries Creation Care Team
Be The Spark has given me the confidence to work for climate justice in my faith community. I learned to be able to go out of my comfort zone so that future generations can just be comfortable. BTS provides the organizational skills to act in my faith community. It could well be the best 4 Sunday evenings that you have spent recently. Don't miss this opportunity!
— Lorraine Delehanty, Co Chair of the Care of Creation Team, St Thomas More Catholic Church
The most important part of participating in Be the Spark was the opportunity for me to connect directly with the movement - to meet other people who are actively working on Climate Change in their faith communities and beyond. Looking back, I can see that those four sessions with MNIPL played an important role in preparing me to take on the organizing work I'm doing now in the United Methodist Church and Citizens Acting For Rail Safety.
— Cathy Velasquez Eberhart, Prospect Park United Methodist Church
Change happens through organizing. Simply developing solutions (Energy Efficiency, Carbon Reduction Policies, Solar Energy) does not mean they will be widely adopted.
Organizing builds a container of community identity, motivation, relationship, and accountability. It's the best way for long-term sustained action on climate change.
The climate movement grows when we focus on relationship building, organizing training, and strategic planning. MNIPL's Be the Spark curriculum features some of the most effective organizing tools and leadership development practices from Marshall Ganz, the New Organizing Institute, and Training For Change. We have adapted their work specifically for faith and spiritual communities.