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Trauma Informed Congregations Community of Practice Gathering

April 27, 2017

Community of Practice Meeting Report
We had a wonderful community of Practice meeting on Thursday, April 27, 2017 from 9am to 12pm at Eden United Church of Christ in Chicago. Thank you, Eden, for hosting us!
A group of about 25 people met to share wisdom and resources for building trauma-informed faith communities and growing the Trauma Informed Congregations Network in the metropolitan Chicago area.  We had a wide-ranging discussion about the many levels of trauma and resilience and also about things we need to consider as we talk about what it means to be Trauma Informed (TI).
Some of the topics we touched on include:
  • Being honest about the ways in which faith communities have been places of hurt, wounding and abuse.
  • Managing our own need to control when we engage with people who have experienced trauma.  One participant said, “The more I try to control, the less helpful I am.”  When we have specific expectations about what people should be doing, we often don’t see the person who is there.
  • Taking care not to move too quickly with building a trauma-informed movement.  We want to have a level of rigor around being trauma informed so that it really means something and so faith communities have to actually do meaningful work to attain the designation.
  • Being clear about the key principles that underlie the work we want to do, such as:
    • Being welcoming of the “other”
    • Being intentional about not having the outcome already in mind
    • Being present
    • Ensuring that any resources that we offer people meet a standard of criteria for being trauma informed
There is much more! See a full summary here.

A joint project of Advocate Health Care & the OCEAN-HP at the University of Illinois at Chicago.