Trauma Healing, How the Church Can Help

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Last spring I attended the Trauma Healing Equipping Session taught by the Trauma Healing Institute of the American Bible Society. This three day course was sponsored by the Christian Reformed Church’s Safe Church Ministry and World Renew. In medical and mental health literature, the effect of trauma has received recent attention, and the importance of recognizing and helping those who experience trauma has gained momentum. We can be traumatized when we are overwhelmed with intense fear, helplessness, or horror in the face of death or serious injury. We can also be traumatized secondarily when we listen to someone else’s traumatic experience, especially if it is a family member or close friend. Trauma always involves grief, but we can experience grief without trauma.

Forty participants from across the United States and Canada attended the initial equipping session to learn basic biblical and mental health principles related to trauma care. We were each encouraged to explore our own wounds of trauma and loss and to bring those to Christ for healing. In small groups, each table practiced the participatory model by sharing our personal stories with one other person, and exploring what the Bible says about suffering and “heart wounds.” We studied the Psalms and wrote our own “song of lament,” which some choose to share with the group. During the session where we each brought our burdens to the cross I could feel a burden of care lift from my shoulders and heart. I felt the healing power of Jesus as I turned my tangled web of thoughts over to Him, and that peace has stayed with me.  

Recently several members of my church met to discuss safe church ministry and how trauma healing might fit in with the vision. We see it as a powerful tool for ministry. Safe Church envisions churches where relationships are open and honest, whose members rejoice in the truth, share their lives with one another in joy and in suffering, and embody the grace and love of our Savior. I know how much a caring community helped me with trauma that I’d experienced and I’d like to be a part of creating that kind of healing community for others.

Safe Church Ministry recommends this Trauma Healing Initial Equipping event for anyone interested in finding out more about how Trauma Healing can lead to positive change.

The American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute uses applied Scripture and mental health principles to address spiritual and emotional wounds caused by trauma. This proven model has been effectively used in over 50 countries. A 3-day initial equipping session, sponsored by World Renew and CRC Safe Church Ministry, will take place from 8:30-5:00 November 15-17 at Meadowlands Fellowship CRC in Ancaster, ON. This event is intended for those who will seriously consider facilitating a Trauma Healing group in their own context.

CA $150 covers all materials and lunches each day.

Find out more and register for the Trauma Healing event below.  

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