It's been a labor of love more than a year in the making, and it is exciting to see the curriculum come together and head out to those that will give this first version a "test drive" this spring and (hopefully) give me some great feedback so I can make improvements over the summer and make the curriculum better!
It is called "Bruised Reeds and Smoldering Wicks: a six week study of trauma-informed ministry and compassionate care for children from hard places and situations." The study is laid out into the following topics:
- Week One: Jesus and the children; key idea: Jesus welcomes ALL children, even those affected by trauma, toxic stress, or adversity (ACEs)
- Week Two: Advocacy... what is this "trauma-informed" talk all about?; key idea: In order to advocate for children and families impacted by trauma, your church should consider trauma-informed ministry [a copy of the print portion of this lesson is linked below for those that want to 'get a feel' for the curriculum!]
- Week Three: Was Jesus' ministry "trauma-informed?"; key idea: Jesus understood the devastating effects of trauma and adversity and his ministry was shaped in a way that responded to our needs.
- Week Four: How the traumatized can look like they "have it all together." key idea: those that are dealing with trauma don't all look the same. Even leaders in your community have been touched by trauma... so everyone should be treated compassionately.
- Week Five: Does being trauma-informed mean we avoid saying hard things? key idea: Jesus was compassionate, yet firm... being trauma-informed means you prepare for the strong reaction some topics may elicit, not that you avoid all issues that may elicit a strong reaction.
- Week Six: Responding to trauma within the compassionate Kingdom of God; key idea: God's Kingdom stands apart from this world's kingdoms, bringing justice and mercy where trauma and heartache have prevailed.
- BONUS MATERIALS: "Advocating for Rachel"--a case study from a licensed child and family therapist with suggestions for interventions that a church can appropriately implement to help hurting children and families!
While the initial copies are out in the mail (and all the free copies are spoken for!), my wish is for those that might use the materials this spring--especially those willing to give me critical feedback--so, please reach out and order a copy if you haven't already done so. Those that have order the curriculum, feel free to let others know about it, too!
Here's the link: SUNDAY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Thank you for you work in creating trauma-informed communities. If this curriculum will be a help in interpreting the work to the Church, I am glad for it.
Chaplain Chris Haughee