Among Update: We regret to inform you that we will not be accepting applications from new congregations to the Among program for the Fall of 2024. Our current Among congregations will continue for their second (or more) year of the program. Additional updates will appear in this space when they are available. Please contact us at with any questions or concerns.

Key elements of the Among program include:

  • Coaching
  • Opening Retreat
  • Grounding Sessions
  • Focused Change Work
  • Worship
  • Connection with other Among congregations


At the core of the Among program is the relationship you will build with your Among Coach, who will serve as a companion for your Among Team throughout the two years of the program.

    • Your Coach serves as a guide, a mirror, a cheerleader, a thought partner, an accountability check, and a connection to the larger Among program.
    • You will hold monthly meetings and accountability check-ins with your Coach and all of the members of your congregation’s Among Team.
    • A point person from your Among Team will check in with and communicate directly with the Beloved Conversations Team and with your Coach to get the program set up and to plan a schedule for your meetings.
    • Together with your Coach, your Among Team will make a plan for each year of the program, which will include time to do relationship building and covenant building, processing your learning from Within, engaging the Grounding Sessions (deep learning about covenant, systems change, conflict management, and congregational assessment), assessing your congregation’s current practices and policies, discerning your focus within the areas of congregational life, imagining possibilities for transformation, and setting goals for your time in the program.
    • Your Coach will begin the program as your main facilitator and leader, and over the course of the two-year program, they will gradually shift the balance towards leadership and facilitation by members of your congregation’s Among Team.

Opening Retreat

Our Among Opening Retreat will be a virtual opportunity for our Among community to gather over Zoom and begin to lay the groundwork and build the relationships and understandings that will form the core of our congregational transformation work.

  • All Among participants will attend this virtual Opening Retreat towards the beginning of the program, which introduces the goals and structure of the program, includes basic learning on the topics the program will cover, and connects Among participants across Among congregations.
  • The Opening Retreat will be facilitated on Zoom by the Beloved Conversations Team and dates will be communicated to congregations once they are accepted into the program.

Grounding Sessions

The first year of the program will be grounded by an engagement with general theoretical resources and activities that are essential to the work of healthy, effective, long-lasting systemic anti-racist transformation.

  • Grounding Sessions are workshops created by the Beloved Conversations Team and facilitated by the congregation’s Among Coach that cover important topics related to anti-racism and systemic change in congregations. They are an essential part of the first year of the Among program.
  • Among congregations will engage the Grounding Sessions with their Among Coach, regardless of the congregation’s chosen area of focus.
  • Congregations engage these Sessions and resources first, to lay the foundation for the coming change work.
  • Grounding Sessions include resources and reflections on:
    • Covenant
    • Change Management and Systems Theory
    • Emotional Dynamics and Conflict
    • Centering the Needs of BIPOC
    • Identifying White Supremacy Culture
    • Congregational Assessment

Focused Change Work

The second year of the program will be focused on tangible systemic change work in a specific area of congregational life, as chosen by the congregation’s Among Team in collaboration with their Coach.

    • Areas of Congregational Life
      • Worship and Music
      • Religious Education and Faith Formation
      • Governance
      • Social Justice
      • Membership and Welcoming
      • Finances and Personnel
      • Building and Grounds
      • Spirituality, Theology, and Pastoral Care
    • Each area has a dedicated resource section on our learning platform which contains:
      • An introduction video summarizing the topic and its connection to anti-racist systemic change work
      • A rubric to help the congregation assess its current practices in this area
      • Resources for study and reflection
      • Examples of congregations and communities doing innovative work in this area of congregational life
      • Inspirational materials, to stimulate creativity, imagination, and vision
    • We encourage congregations to choose members for their Among team strategically, so that the team has members who are decision-makers and invested in the area of congregational life that the congregation will focus on. For example, if the congregation wants to choose to focus on Religious Education and Faith Formation, it would be ideal for the Among team to include the congregation’s professional Religious Educator (if any) and members of the committee that makes decisions about Religious Education in the congregation.
    • Congregations will aim to set goals for their change work that are tangible, achievable in the timeline, and that will make measurable strides towards transformation in the congregation.


Each Among congregation is asked to schedule one worship service each year of the program for the larger congregation, focused on the systemic transformation work the congregation is committing itself to through participation in the program. 

  • The goals of the service are to help the larger congregation understand the value of this faith formation and racial justice-related systemic transformation, to ask them for their support for and willing participation in the changes that are coming as a result of the congregation’s participation in the Among program, and to commission the congregation’s Among Team for the spiritual work ahead. 
  • We recommend congregations try to schedule this service sometime toward the beginning of the program year (October, November, December). 
  • Our Beloved Conversations Team will provide recommended resources and liturgical elements, as well as video recordings, that you can integrate into the worship service.
  • All Among Team members will also have access to attend optional Within Meaning Making Sessions for worship together, as well as access to Beloved Conversations Chaplains, as needed.

Connection with other Among congregations

As in our Within program, relationship building and peer-to-peer connection and learning is essential to the Among program.

  • Our Among learning platform, powered by Teachable, includes places for Team members to make comments and share stories on each page.
  • Each congregation’s Among Team members will have access to a Beloved Conversations Among private Facebook page, for sharing resources, questions, and progress.
  • All Among Teams will be expected to attend the Among Retreat, a shared orientation and welcome space to begin the program together.
  • The Beloved Conversations Among Team will host optional monthly Zoom calls, for Among Team members to connect, ask questions, and learn from each other.

AMONG Program Timeline

Among Year One: October – May

  • Opening Retreat
  • Grounding Sessions
  • Among Worship Service
  • Discernment for Focus
  • Congregational Assessment
  • Low-Hanging Fruit Actions

Summer Break: June – August

Among Year Two: September – May

  • Focused Planning for Action on Chosen Area of Congregational Life
  • Big Experiments
  • Ongoing Assessment
  • Among Worship Service
  • Transition/Closing Ritual

Summer Break: June – August

(Optional) Among Year Three+: September – May+

  • Continued Work on Previously Chosen Area or Transition to a New Area of Focus
  • Ongoing Assessment
  • Among Worship Service
  • Transition/Closing Ritual