Resource shines light on faith-leaders who minister in times of
community and personal trauma
NEW YORK — HEALING THE HEALERS, a new documentary series, launches today through ODYSSEY IMPACT. Comprised of five 15-minute documentaries, this new resource showcases intimate conversations between faith leaders who have experienced mass trauma events in their communities and congregations.
These conversations are guided by Rev. Matt Crebbin, the Senior Pastor of Newtown Congregational Church, in Newtown, CT. Crebbin, along with the other faith-leaders in Newtown, were called upon for healing, support, and guidance after one of the worst mass-shootings in U.S. history occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, just two miles from his church.
These pastors immediately responded to the needs of their communities, all while experiencing the same mental, emotional, and spiritual trauma as their congregations. For the past two years, Crebbin has reflected on his experience and studied the long-term effects of trauma on faith leaders. In this series, he begins by asking the question ‘who heals the healers?’, and focuses on issues including self-care, self-awareness, pastoral roles, impact on the families of faith leaders, living with continual community trauma, re-traumatization from other mass violence, questions of faith in light of evil, creating trauma-informed ministries. Crebbin also shares his personal lessons learned after 6 years of what he calls ‘new wisdom.’
Early praise includes:
“An invaluable resource in theological education. This film series delves into the lived experience of clergy on the ground, in a respectful, compelling, and informative way, which enables the future clergy to learn from those who have walked this path before.” — Rev. Dr. Storm Swain, United Lutheran Seminary.
“This project is an exceptional resource for caregivers, faith communities, and theological education, and is long overdue. It provides deep insight into the pain incurred by pastors as they endeavor to care for the broken and wounded. This documentary gives pastors permission to hurt, cry, and seek healing for themselves.” — Rev. Dr. Willard Ashley, Sr., New Brunswick Theological Seminary.
Faith-leaders joining in the conversation are: Rev. Dr. Kate Wiebe, Executive Director of the Institute for Collective Trauma and Growth; Rev. Kathleen E. Adams-Shepherd, previous rector at Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown; Rev. Henry Brown, the leader of Mothers United Against Violence; Rev. Melvyn Kawakami, retired Senior Pastor at Newtown United Methodist Church; Monsignor Basil O’Sullivan, former chaplain at Dunblane Primary School, site of a mass shooting that killed 16 children and their teacher; Rabbi Shaul Marshall Praver, a first responder at Sandy Hook Elementary; Pastor Samuel Saylor, Sr., Senior Pastor of Gardner Memorial AME Zion Church in Springfield, MA and National Vice President of the National Gun Victims Action Council; and Cantor Michael Shochet, former Police Officer who became ordained and now serves as a Senior Clergy of Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church, VA.
ODYSSEY IMPACT has also developed downloadable resources and discussion guides focused on encouraging dialogue and sparking change.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.healingthehealers.org
Read the full press release here.