A Word on Trauma and Listening, Pt. 2

“When people begin to talk about their story, assume it, and reflect on it, [they] find meaning and significance in what they have lived through….This is what allows us to go forward in life.”

~ Martha Cabrera, Living and Surviving in a Multiply-wounded Country

This is just one movement in the cycle of healing from trauma and building resilience. It is how we begin the process of making meaning. It is a series of fluid movements that include spaces and practices that help us mourn and grieve, name fears, learn how to accept losses, memorialize what we must (through rituals, ceremonies, and artifacts), reflect together on any root causes of the trauma (traumatic events, various systems of violence, historical harms, injustices, etc), and acknowledging the multiple stories present in our community. Some will understand and embrace these movements, some will not. But it is important to press on and create space for these movements to unfold within each community.

This is something I’ve been able to experience with WCC the past ten years. It has been life-giving and shaped who we are, even in all the tension it has sometimes created. It is a messy and bumpy process, but one I believe the Spirit wants to guide. I think it is critical if we are to become a community where hospitality and compassion is present and human flourishing possible.

More on this later.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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