9/11 is quite a way to start seminary. I think that I will always have a special place in my heart for my peers, across the country, who began their studies faced with those stark realities of our times. I remember one of our apartment neighbors, an elementary school teacher who was the wife of a seminarian, sharing with us about how she had to hand out a flyer that said something along the lines of, "If neither of your parents come home today, call this number." One of her girls ended up having to make that phone call.
Of course, we also were the students who went on to witness the seemingly unending lawsuits and very public allegations that permeated the Catholic church the next decade and a half – which perhaps helped us be more aware and keen to the allegations and whispers in our own denominations. In recent years, one of my colleagues – a professor in a Catholic institution – wondered about what it means for Catholic seminary professors to be preparing ministers to enter into what they (the professors and the ministers) know to be traumatized congregations. Indeed, how are we preparing our ministers, not only for disaster response to a present incident but also for the long-term emotional, psychological, and spiritual care work there is for the months and years ahead? The 21st Century certainly will be marked by the care and awareness we practice now.
A new school year has begun. Keep ICTG in mind as you encounter students who are interested in learning more about healing after congregational trauma. ICTG is a great place to practice! We welcome volunteers, interns, and scholars who would like to participate in the programs, events, research, or development of ICTG. Students can find out more information by visiting our website – www.ictg.org and this page (www.ictg.org/contact-and-support.html) specifically. We would love to hear from them!
Thank you, again, for your support and encouragements. We are grateful for your interest and shared passions to see ministers who are leading congregations after disaster get the tools and education they need. We look forward to hearing from you!