Peer-Learning Cohorts: Building Resilient Congregations
Across the United States, communities continue to grapple with visible and invisible struggles of poverty, stress, mental health, trauma and political divisiveness. How do we build resilient congregations equipped to walk alongside one another and their communities?
The Center for Church and Community Impact (C³I) received a generous grant through the Eula Mae & John Baugh Foundation for 3-years to consult with 15-20 diverse congregations around the following topics or ministries of hospitality: Accompaniment, Trauma Care, and LGBTQ+ Discernment.
The C3I will pilot curriculum on these topics in peer-learning cohorts with the long-term outcome of developing research-informed, evidence-based online certificate programs in each of these focus areas for future congregations.
Cohorts for our pilot year are currently closed. However, if you have interest in one of the topics discussed below, please reach out to us at email@example.com and we would be thrilled to talk about how we can work together.
Many congregations meet needs through ministries that provide financial and food assistance. Ministries such as these are often more “transactional” in nature rather than building a sense of relationship and belonging among those involved—the church and community.
Trauma Care Cohort
The C³I defines trauma as “a deeply distressing event or an event where someone has exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence” either as an individual or a whole community. The C³I works with congregations to become trauma-sensitive which will improve pastoral and spiritual care for those experiencing trauma and to build resiliency in congregations and communities.
LGBTQ+ Discernment Cohort
The C³I recognizes the differing views that may be prevalent among ministers, congregations, and denominations over interpretation of scripture and the position of the church in response to LGBTQ+ visitors and members, particularly with respect to leadership and marriage. From years of research, the C³I developed an evidence-based “guide” for congregations desiring to walk through a process of discernment related to decisions concerning their inclusion practices specific to the LGBTQ+ population.
We understand that this work is often emotionally difficult and time-consuming. However, we also strongly believe that it will lead to God’s children being cared for in a deeper and more holistic way. This unique pilot experience will utilize each cohort’s feedback and participation to shape the creation of a sustainable model for future research and practical application.
Interested in learning more? Please email us at C3I@baylor.edu.