Our courses on pastoral care in trauma-informed ministry, which the team have been delivering since May 2020, have now reached 50 groups of ministers.
The course is still available, and we are also offering a course on biblical and theological reflections on trauma and COVID, taught by Meg Warner and Christopher Southgate.
Summary of the Courses
- Pastoral Care (3hrs on Zoom, Hilary Ison and Carla Grosch-Miller).
This will consist of two sessions: The first covers the nature of trauma in the individual and its physiological character – ‘the body keeps the score’. There are then explorations of how to be more aware of the signals our bodies are giving us. Trauma has the character of overwhelming our resources. It is therefore very important for clergy to be aware of their own strategies of self-care. Finally there is an exploration of three models of resilience.
The second session covers collective trauma – its likely effects on communities, and the way in which those effects shift over time as the traumatic event is processed. There is reflection on the pandemic and the fact that it is ‘a trauma that keeps on giving’ – we are not yet safe, so the dynamics of recovery cannot unfold fully. There is guidance on leadership styles and good practice in pastoral care of the traumatised. There is also an exercise on the use of lament by individuals or communities, and brief reflection on liturgical practice after trauma.
This course has also been adapted for use with hospital chaplains.
- Biblical and theological reflections on trauma and COVID (3 hrs on Zoom, Meg Warner and Christopher Southgate) Again two sessions:
The first session is on the Bible. It notes that many key biblical texts in both Old and New Testaments were written (or reached their final form) in the context of trauma. These are therefore robust resources to aid us in reflecting on such experience. The Psalms of lament may be of particular importance in giving voice to the unvoiceable. Consideration is also given to models of resilience in the Scriptures, drawing on Dr Warner’s work on the character of Joseph.
The second session is on theological reflection, especially focusing on COVID. It considers explanations for how such a virus could be part of God’s good creation. It also explores expectations of God’s action in the world, related to the internal narratives by which congregations live. Finally it considers where, for the Christian, hope may be found in a time of pandemic.