Early in my last church ministry I began working with the town's fire department as chaplain. I quickly became involved in a county-wide team that provided Critical Incident Stress Management resources to emergency response personnel who had been working in unusually traumatic incidents. As part of these ministries I was able to get some training in aspects of critical incident care and trauma response. It's something I had touched upon tangentially in my seminary training, but not at this level of depth. I quickly realized how valuable this information and methodology was in dealing with crises that arose in the life of the church and in the lives of church members. It also gave me new insights into my own history and experiences.
Everyone experiences traumatic episodes in their lives. It goes with the territory of living. It has clear and measurable impacts on our emotions and our sense of the world. Those impacts are psychological and spiritual. It is one of the profound places where the faith which we hold and teach in our churches is of immeasurable value to the community beyond our walls as well as the community within it.
The Disaster Resource Team of our Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ is offering a workshop entitled "Disaster Resource Training for Pastors." Beverly Prestwood Taylor of the Brookfield Institute has experience working with and teaching about trauma and stress. She will be presenting an interactive workshop on February 26 at our Framingham conference center. The workshop will provide you insight, education and skills you can use personally and professionally as you encounter times of trauma and crisis.
You can find information and registration here. Register soon, space is limited.
Rev. Don Remick
Disaster Resource Team
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