Where do our churches go from here?
Church and Christian community look a lot different than they did before the horrors of the coronavirus pandemic, racial trauma, and economic uncertainty revealed difficult truths about the wounds we carry. The damage caused by trauma is deep and affects every part of our lives together. At the same time, the pandemic has upended or called into question many of our traditional ministry models. For those tasked with leading congregations through this disorienting new territory, the challenges are great indeed.
Yet God's people are amazingly resilient. In All Our Griefs to Bear, author Joni S. Sancken builds on her own trauma-aware background and engages leading sociologists and mental health professionals to name some of the largest issues that congregations now face and will face as we process the cascading trauma of our time. Chapters focus on practices such as lament, storytelling, and blessing to help leaders and church members to nurture resilience and compassion.
We cannot go back to who we were before. But the church can experience new life and renewal in the wake of trauma as God's healing and hope move through us into our world.