ICTG is highly committed to connecting ministers, congregations and communities with the knowledge and skills that help ministers and congregational professionals know what to do when faced with sudden devastation. ICTG provides a bank of tools and resources to assist the leaders of communities of faith for long-term care and growth. Leaders like:
– ministers who work passionately in chronic stress communities, ready to network care and healing strategies
– church school volunteers who show up after a mass shooting, yet need better tools or information to care for kids and parents
– staff and volunteers of a congregation who suddenly lose their pastor
– staff and volunteers who search for how to rebuild memories and senses of identity after fires destroy many homes in their community
– youth leaders who show up at a disaster response meeting, hoping to find tools to lead youth group the week after a traumatic event
– faith leaders who see the far-reaching effects of sexual misconduct, who are working for healing and wanting to network best practices
– worship leaders who discern the first sounds of gathering, the notes of loss and grief, and the musical movements of the congregation from lament toward healing
With your help, ICTG is answering these needs to be informed in ways that expand ministers' abilities to provide the kind of care that builds resilience, through trustworthy relationships and calming amid storms. Our resources have proved so helpful that in its first nine months online, nearly 2500 visitors have searched our website for tools to lead congregations after trauma – with that number growing by hundreds each month! An average visitor spends at least 20 minutes with the ICTG blog, films and podcasts that are based on our in-person forums, articles and books, and links. ICTG is unique in that its films and forums network field experts to address practical concerns of leaders as they seek lasting healing and resilience for their congregations.
With increasing awareness of traumatic events and their impact on individuals and communities, the sooner we can expand our mission in 2014 the better. ICTG's passion centers on the months and years that follow incidents of trauma or disaster when emotional, psychological and spiritual needs are greatest and when informed care ministry makes a profound impact. As ministers seek to grow or regrow programs for children, youth, and adults, ICTG seeks to provide them with the tools that will help them thrive. ICTG sees a day when any minister who has access to the internet can easily access the tools needed to respond with care as they lead congregations after disaster.
The majority of ICTG funding comes from passionate individuals and very committed congregations. Please consider an end of year gift. Gifts of any amount are welcomed, and a gift of $5000 or more can make this kind of difference:
– funds a face-to-face forum where congregation leaders can network, share accounts of struggles and healing, and learn from field experts, experienced consultants and coaches, like with our 2013 Forum for Disaster Preparedness that brought faith leaders together with emergency managers
– creates three greatly needed instructional films or multiple podcasts based on up-to-date studies of practical trauma-informed ministries, like guest speaker Fr. Jeff Putthoff who directs care and business development for youth at Hopeworks 'N Camden, NJ
– provides scholarship funding for two student interns to research trauma response ministry, post-trauma growth, and track currently unexplored congregational trends after trauma, building a storehouse of data that has not before been documented
When ministers are unaware of how care practices can stave off compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization symptoms, congregations and communities suffer or become chronically stuck. As we approach the holidays, and you consider the many congregations around the country who are facing long-term needs for care, your partnering with ICTG can make a lasting difference.
We thank you for considering an end of year gift and encourage you to make a faithful gift that best reflects the level that you or your congregation can financially support. Your gift is most important for this valuable ministry to communities experiencing the impacts of trauma and disaster. Thank you for your generosity and for partnering with ICTG in this way.
Kate Wiebe and the ICTG Directors