Steps for Organizing a Mormon Faith Crisis Workshop/Retreat

For the past few years we have organized several very successful workshops and retreats to support Mormons in faith crisis/transition.  These events are consistently rated 4.9 out of 5.0, and we are continually told that they have been incredibly valuable in domains such as:

  • Helping to save marriages, including mixed-faith marriages.
  • Helping to rebuild lives during and after a faith transition.
  • Helping to improve relationships with believing family and friends.
  • Helping to improve mental health and well-being.
  • Helping to build stronger progressive/post-Mormon community ties/connections in local areas.

Quotes from Past Event Attendees:

  • “This was amazing and much needed for myself. The information that John and Natasha shared was priceless. I came in with a broken heart and really no idea where to go next in my transition within my marriage and with my kids. I now feel confident to go ahead in making a new marriage with my husband where we can both feel respected and understood.”
  • “I am so grateful that I attended. I already feel much healthier and less anxious about my issues regarding church. I feel validated, I feel less alone.”
  • “It was FANTASTIC! I came to this event very unsure of what to expect and I’m leaving with mounds of information and understanding. Several of the things we discussed were new ideas and concepts that I hadn’t been aware of, that I didn’t know were important to know, but that I really needed to know. I anticipate attending several more in the future. “
  • “Very good and Informative. I now have ideas I can use to help in my mixed faith marriage.  Wonderful classes and topics!”
  • “Exceeded my expectations to the highest, great group of respectable people, and something I’d attend again.”
  • “It was a tremendous, enlightening, educational experience.”
  • “I think it was very well organized. The presenters were VERY careful to not ever project their own position or experience on someone they were counseling or answering a question for. They worked to make people all along the spectrum feel a part of the experience, feel comfortable being there and also encouraged them to voice their thoughts and opinion.”

Organizing an Event:

At present we do not have staff to organize these events, but we are willing to partner with those who are interested, and to compensate you (at least in part) for your time.  If you are interested in bringing a workshop or retreat to your area, here are the steps:

  • Workshop vs. Retreat: Decide if you are interested in a workshop (1.5 days) or a retreat (2.5 days).
    • Differences between workshops and retreats: The main differences between workshops and retreats are that: 1) More Content: More topics are covered during a retreat, 2) More Personal Processing: We are able to do more in-depth processing of people’s experiences in a retreat (you will get more out of the content from a personal perspective), and 3) Deeper Relationships with Attendees: Relationships between participants at the retreats tend to go deeper since we have more time for fun and group bonding (you will leave with deeper personal relationships/connections with other participants).
    • Prices: The per-person price for a workshop is $125/person, and the per-person price for a retreat is $250/person.  If you feel like this price is steep, remember that 1 hour of therapy/coaching is usually between $150 and $200, and participants will be receiving between 1.5 and 2.5 full days of content, processing, and relationship building from this event.
    • Organizing Honorarium:  An honorarium will be given to the lead organizer for this event – as a way to compensate them for their efforts. The amount is $500 for a workshop and $1000 for a retreat (assuming 40 paid attendees).  This honorarium can be kept by the lead organizer, or can be shared with the event organizing team.
  • Put Together an Event Organizing Team: It is usually helpful to put together an event organizing team to help plan and promote the event.  Pick people who are committed, organized, and low-drama.  We can often help you find additional members of the committee.  The committee is responsible for the following:
    • Assessing Local Demand: Generally we need between 30 and 40 people at a workshop/retreat to make it financially feasible.   You can usually get a sense for local demand through speaking with friends and family, and through the types of local or regional communities found on Mormon Spectrum (please be careful not to spam these communities with excessive posts).  If you can find around 20-30 people who are committed to attending the event, usually our marketing/promotion can help get us to 40.
    • Deciding Who You Might Want to Bring to the Retreat: The rates above assume that either Dr. John Dehlin or Natasha Helfer Parker will be the primary leader/presenter at your event.  If you would like to bring additional coaches/therapists to the event (e.g., John Dehlin, Natasha Helfer Parker, Margi Dehlin), each additional presenter is $1000/day plus travel expenses.
    • Locate a Venue: To keep expenses down, we usually try to do workshops/retreats in free venues.  Generally workshops/retreats can be held in a larger home (with a living space that seats 40 people comfortably).
    • Decide What Topics You Want to Cover:  The usual topics covered at these events include the following:
      • Navigating a Mormon Faith Crisis
      • Rebuilding a Healthy/Happy Life during and after a Mormon Faith Crisis
      • Improving your Mental Health during and after a Mormon Faith Crisis
      • Communicating with Believing Family and Friends during and after a Mormon Faith Crisis
      • Strengthening Your Marriage/Relationships during and after a Mormon Faith Crisis
      • Navigating a Mixed-Faith Marriage
      • Raising Healthy Children during and after a Mormon Faith Crisis
      • Healthy Sexuality
      • (Other topics available by request)
    • Karaoke?: Traditionally, an evening karaoke event has been held in association with our workshops and retreats – and it is almost always a total blast.  Consequently, the organizing team needs to thoughtfully consider whether or not they are ready to bring their karaoke A game.  😉
  • Set a Date: Reach out to mormonfaithcrisis@gmail.com to finalize a date.
  • Event Registration: Once the date is set, we will provide you with a link for event registration.
  • Marketing the Event: We will work with you to put together a flyer and social media campaign to advertise the event.  We will announce the event through Mormon Stories Podcast, and post in various locations on social media.  We will need your help in marketing the event as well through word of mouth, social media, etc.
  • Setting up for the Event:  For the workshop/retreat, the following is needed:
    • A quiet, comfortable, temperature-regulated room large enough to seat 40 people.
    • A TV/projection screen for the PowerPoint presentations.
    • Name tags for participants.
    • Water for participants.
    • An audio system if the room is large enough to require one, and/or if the committee decides to hold a karaoke night in conjunction with event.
    • Lunch is provided at these events, so lunch will need to be ordered in advance.  The best lunches are often buffet-style that offer both vegetarian and meat options.  Examples of catering options that have worked well in the past include Cafe Rio/Costa Vida taco/salad bar, and Rumbi Island Grill rice/teriyaki/veggie bowls.

We feel comfortable promising that workshop/retreat attendees will describe this as a life changing experience.  Please reach out to mormonfaithcrisis@gmail.com if you are interested in bringing an event to your area.

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