Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Nurturing Love, Life, and Hope

“And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.
It’s quiet, but the roots there are riotous.”
– Rumi –

Suffering is an experience that we all share. Trauma inflicted through abuse of power, meanness, neglect, abandonment, or violent oppression is especially difficult for the human spirit to bear.

Yet, the stories of our scriptures and faith traditions strive to help us make sense of pain and persecution and connect us to the powerful threads of love, hope and renewal that flow out of our connection with God and with each other—the riotous roots that give us life.

So, we set out to write a book, a Barefoot Guide, that would be a resource to help ourselves and other people of faith better see, share and connect to the practices and stories that we are already living that create love, life and hope in a hurting world.

Healing Congregations is made up of stories–real stories that we told each other–and dialogue among fictionalized characters that draw from real conversations that we had as a team.

This is not a “how-to” tool kit. This is an invitation into a journey, an invitation into our own conversation of discovery and wrestling with hard questions. It’s an invitation to you to also speak the ways that God lives in the midst of our suffering and adversity, trusting that we can be the bearers of that love, life and hope as we practice our faith together.


There are lots of ways to encounter this book. Download a copy. Use our Road Maps to guide your conversations and study. Listen to the stories or dip into video clips. Learn more about the Three Streams of thought that have guided our conversations. Explore the powerful space where Hurt and Hope meet. Dive in!



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