Trauma survivors often experience pervasive shame and self-doubt. As a result, many hesitate to talk about their trauma and often do not disclose it at all. I’ve met with many clients who seek to minimize or dismiss the obvious forms of abuse that they have experienced. For a variety of reasons, they convince themselves their lived experience “doesn’t count” or “isn’t that bad.” This is why it is so important for us to pay attention and believe people when they speak about harm they’ve either observed or experienced. Simply saying the words out loud is a major hurdle to clear.
— Safer Sanctuaries: Nurturing Trust Within Faith Communities (Discipleship Resources, 2023)
What professional resources for dealing with trauma does your congregation offer? Join the conversation.
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
—Galatians 6:2 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Holy God, we recognize that all people are entrusted to our care. We respond to your will for us to diligently watch over one another. Help us keep our eyes alert to dangers. Enable us to have attentive ears to even the silent cries for help. … Use our community to be a sure place of safety for all. Use our community to be a source of overflowing love and compassion. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Prayer from page 222, Safer Sanctuaries
Since 1998, Safe Sanctuaries resources have been a trusted source of guidance for churches and other affiliated institutions as they work to reduce the risk of abuse in their communities. Now, Safer Sanctuaries: Nurturing Trust within Faith Communities is a new and comprehensive resource that continues the tradition of Safe Sanctuaries ministry on the strong foundation of past resources while also inspiring and preparing churches for the work of the future. Learn more at SaferSanctuaries.org.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.