Reflection written by Sherry Fakkema, Safe Church Coordinator, Classis Pacific Northwest
It seems safe to boldly state that there is not a local church in the Christian Reformed denomination or a church anywhere that does not have a worshipper who has experienced trauma. The mission of Safe Church Ministry is to Equip Congregations in Abuse Awareness, Prevention, and Response.
Tara Boer’s webinar, Why the ACSs Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACEs) Matters, is an effective resource to address both awareness and response. Information about how trauma affects the brain and the body was especially important, particularly for those working in safe church ministry within their church or classis. Tara does a very good job describing in lay terms how the brain develops and how it is affected by trauma. The video includes a Power Point of the ACEs study, which is clear, concise, and interesting.
She challenges us to develop/implement a trauma informed lens in the way that we care for people in our ministry. Included are suggestions for working with children who have experienced trauma, but the techniques apply to someone of any age. It is understandable, has broad implications for supporting those affected by abuse in any form and, yet, is succinct and engaging.
This webinar is a powerful resource for pastors and councils to use as part of annual training, including the 4 hours of required training on abuse of power in Classis Pacific Northwest.
Note: Safe Church is glad to see recordings of several of our 2020 webinar series, Connect, Collaborate, and Coordinate to End Abuse being used as helpful resources for churches in 2020 and beyond.
We'd love to hear from you about how these resources have blessed you in your own context! Feedback is always welcome, including safe church/abuse related topics of interest to you, or how we can improve future webinar resources.