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Trauma Responsive Congregations Community of Practice Monthly Call

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Join our community of practice conference calls where we work to creating trauma-responsive congregations (TRC) as building blocks towards resilient community.  Our community of practice shares a mission of building capacity of health minsters to respond effectively to trauma in their midst. We believe that creating trauma-responsive congregations will turn the trajectory of the co-occurring epidemics for violence, untreated mental illness, suicide, and addiction.  We recognize the faith community, health ministers, and faith leaders as first responders, trusted messengers, and  cultural key holders.


We believe that through partnership, we can make America the first ‘Trauma-Responsive Nation’ where communities support healing and prevent trauma. Our united effort will build safe and flourishing communities that become hubs for establishing [or seeking] peace. 


We share a list of values that include:

  • Prevention, as young as possible
  • Admitting there is a problem is an essential first step(perhaps “recognizing,” admitting seems a bit negative for a statement of values)
  • Collective wisdom is required to reverse the impact of trauma
  • Recovery is possible and expected
  • Compassionate communities heal, hold and support families and individuals and promote health


We use the Community Resilience Cookbook  as a foundational document.   Here we can share the language of this work, learn the key ingredients for building transformation, and stories of success.  This tool helps us increase community understanding the impact of stress on our bodies and communities and how to build resiliency.


Building on the pioneering work of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) study, our Community of Practice online home is at’s ACES in the Faith-based Community. There, community member share resources of how these practices are being implemented in faith-based communities; a calendar of upcoming events (to which you can add your information); summaries and links to news articles, reports and research; discussions; and videos. Members can post blogs about activities, have public discussions, send private message to group members, and organize real-time chats. Members can also see the activities of other groups, including city, county and state groups, as well as other interest-based groups, such as ACEs in Education and ACEs in Pediatrics. 


We meet once a month via teleconference – soon to use Adobe Connect – and plan to meet in person twice a year.  Last month we celebrated the first meeting of the Community of Practice at the Department of Health and Human Services to build a shared path towards building resilient communities through trauma informed approaches and practices. We met with the goal is to build deep partnership between the Community of Practice and Federal partners focused on addressing the co-occurring epidemics of suicide, violence, untreated mental illness, and addiction.  We are confident that with the understanding and unification we are building, our diverse community has the capacity to share existing models and exemplify the reality that solutions exist


To join the community, please respond to this email and and we will add you to our email distribution list. This will  ensure that you are invited to all of our meetings and get the reports and newsletters.


Then visit and click on the Join button in the top right. When you fill out the profile information, be sure to type in your first and last name in the Display Name box. After you're admitted, simply go to the ACEs in the Faith-Based Community group and join. If you have questions, contact Jane Stevens


A SAMHSA funded white paper explains why this is important:

“We believe that America is facing a public health crisis of major proportions.  The health of our citizens, our economic productivity, the stability of our institutions, and our global leadership are all being undermined by social conditions creating toxic levels of stress, which in turn interact with biological vulnerabilities to affect both individuals and communities.  (Link)


Our failure to address these social conditions or to help people and communities become more resilient is primarily a failure of political will.  The scientific basis for understanding the “epidemics” of today is largely established.  We already know how to develop and implement effective prevention and intervention technologies that could help remedy the current situation. What we lack is sufficient public awareness that solutions exist and sufficient public outrage to demand a comprehensive national and local response (Blanch & Shern, 2011). “


We firmly believe that by working together and sharing this important information and paradigm with others, we can build resilient communities becoming the first trauma responsive nation. We hope you will join us.

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