History of the Kaleidoscope Institute
After traveling all over the world giving workshops and trainings for churches in all the major denominations, the Rev. Eric H. F. Law finally decided to found an institute in 2006 to continue the ministry that he started back in the late 1980s when he began a theological and practical journey through the landscape of diversity. His focus has always been: as a Christian, how can he follow Christ’s call to seek and serve Christ in every person and respect the dignity of every human being? What started out as a need to help himself, and others around him, address race and diversity issues in faithful and constructive ways has evolved into something much bigger and deeper. He had published many books and developed many usual tools and processes to empower church leaders to do personal reflection, small group ministries and community transformation. His books that have made significant contributions to leadership development, congregation vitality and stewardship are The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb (1993), Inclusion-Making Room for Grace (2000), and Holy Currencies—Six Blessings for Sustainable and Missional Ministries (2013). Over the years, many have found his writing and methods helpful for their ministries, as evidenced by the overwhelming number of requests for him to give lectures and workshops across the United States, Canada, Australia, Asia, and Europe.
A continuous frustration for Eric has been that he often received invitations to give one-day or two-day workshops, when the material that he has developed over the years is emerging as a system of theories, models, theology, and skill sets that are impossible to teach in such a short time. Only a few organizations have the resources to bring him back to further develop the skills of those who wanted to learn beyond the basics. The Kaleidoscope Institute is Eric’s effort to put this system of theories, models, theology, and skill sets all in one place, so that individuals and groups that want to gain a deeper understanding and practice of this ministry resource may come and learn and share their experiences.
With the support from Bishops Jon Bruno and Chester L. Talton of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, the Kaleidoscope Institute commenced in 2006 with an initial set of one-day test programs in Los Angeles. After listening to the feedback from church leaders for the first three months, it became clear that we should focus our effort in offering an intensive five-day Training Institute. The success of the first institute with participants from across the United States and from five different denominations confirmed that we were indeed meeting the needs of our constituencies. With increased demand for this kind of training, we now host up to five intensive training institutes each year in different parts of the U.S. (Seattle WA, Oakland CA, Los Angeles, CA, Memphis TN, and Chicago IL), in which participants can come and spend their time immersed in the learning and practice of being leaders in a diverse changing world, and further develop their skills in building more inclusive communities. The resources of the Kaleidoscope Institute continued to grow and expand over the years offering consultation, intensive training institutes and local workshops delivering a comprehensive leadership programs that include intercultural competency, anti-racism training, building inclusive community, media and faith, community transformation, stewardship and congregation vitality.
The Mission of the Kaleidoscope Institute is to provide resources to equip church leaders to create sustainable churches and communities.
The Kaleidoscope Institute continues to enjoy a close tie with the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, even though our ministry is markedly ecumenical and international. The Institute now consists of a network of competent and experienced Catalysts (facilitators) and Associates who can facilitate a wide range of programs, including creating missional and sustainable ministries, skills for building inclusive community, gracious leadership training, visioning process, community transformation, inter-group dialogue (such as programs addressing race, gender, language, generation, sexual orientation, religion, etc.), and event design and facilitation.
Thanks be to God, and to the faithful people who have believed in the vision of the Kaleidoscope Institute—we continue to develop programs, resources and structures that will continue to serve and support leaders to become more competent in our diverse changing world.