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Ministry in Times of Communal Trauma

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1:00 PM-2:30 PM

Lifelong Learning

Location: Meetinghouse

When the “normal day” turns into a nightmare, when the unthinkable suddenly becomes real, when lives are upended and communities changed forever, people turn to their faith leaders for comfort, guidance and healing. We invite you to join us and other pastors of influential churches like yours for lunch, panel discussion and conversation on “Ministry in Times of Communal Trauma.” (This program is eligible for Sabbath Hour credit.)

A number of your peers have found themselves on the front lines of tragedy in recent years and have used their experience and training to pastor to individuals and the community at large. We have invited four such pastors to come and share their experiences and learning with us and to form a springboard for group discussion.They are:

  • Rev. Matthew Crebbin, Newtown Congregational Church, Newtown, CT, site of the mass shooting of school children and teachers in December 2012.
  • Rev. Bob Marrone, First Church of Monson, Monson, MA, site of a tornado that destroyed much of the town and the church in 2011.
  • Rev. Nancy Taylor, Old South Church, Boston, site of the Marathon bombings, April 2013.
  • Rev. LeSette Wright, Resident and Founder of Peaceseekers, an organization that advises governments and institutions on dealing with the senseless violence of the inner city every day.

The panel will be moderated by Professor Brita Gill-Austern, who has done extensive research and training in communal trauma and in spiritual and communal care. Panelists will share what they have learned through their experiences and offer thoughts on what might be done to prepare and strengthen faith communities to respond effectively to traumatic events. It is hoped that an animated conversation will follow the presentations as we seek to learn from each other and become more prepared to deal with communal trauma. (Due to the emotional nature of the topic, the meeting may extend past 2:30, but participants are free to leave as need be.) Please let Jennifer Craig know if you are coming: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (617) 831-2406.


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