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+ Inclusion.
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.
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.” The event can be experienced personally, witnessed personally, or heard secondarily in both an individual manner or a collective manner within an entire community or congregation.
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.
Interested? Contact us.
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.