Lutheran Community Foundation Safe & Healthy Congregations Training
In May of 2012, FaithTrust Institute trained and educated approximately 100 members of 23 Minneapolis, Minnesota-area congregations’ denominational staffs, clergy, and lay leaders on the dynamics – from a faith-based perspective – of domestic violence, child abuse and healthy teen relationships.
“We can help. I came away a better pastor because I was here.” –Participant
"The church can no longer have a blind eye to domestic violence.
With training, knowledge, collaboration, sensitivitity and love we need to
respond and walk with the victim(s) in their journey." -Participant
The Safe and Healthy Congregations Training, sponsored by the Lutheran Community Foundation (LCF), is a two and half day in-person training for congregational teams designed to help team members understand the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence and to better equip them to respond in an informed, sensitive, and effective manner.
In May of 2012, FaithTrust Institute trained and educated approximately 100 members of 23 Minneapolis-area congregations’ denominational staffs, clergy, and lay leaders on the dynamics – from a faith-based perspective – of domestic violence, child abuse and healthy teen relationships.
Each attendee received a foundational level of knowledge about the resources and roadblocks of theological and religious teachings as they relate to cycles of violence and abuse. In conjunction with these fundamental teachings, each team member attended specific training sessions based on their established role in their congregation. Training areas included:
- Domestic Violence Response: Pastoral Care
- Child Abuse Prevention for Lay Teachers and Ministers
- Healthy Teen Relationships for Youth Ministers
- Child Sexual Abuse: Prevention and Intervention for Risk Reduction Leaders
Violence and abuse will only end when it is no longer a secret tolerated by the communities in which those affected by violence live and when there is support for victims and accountability for abusers. By providing tools for strategic planning and implementation, FaithTrust Institute encouraged congregational teams to name specific ways in which this training could be incorporated into the life of their church. The regional-centered training allowed for participants to connect with others in their community whom they may not have known and who can now act as future partners in the work to end violence. This training is sponsored by the LCF as part of its Ending Family Violence Initiative, which aims to end an enduring epidemic of domestic violence with resources, education and awareness through congregations.
For 35 years, FaithTrust Institute has provided tools for effective faith-based responses to victims, offenders, and their families; assisted in the implementation of prevention strategies and materials for congregations and denominations; and worked to promote institutional policies and procedures that address sexual and domestic violence in an informed, sensitive, and responsive manner.
The LCF works nationally to help individuals and families spread joy and change lives through charitable giving. Through careful management, donor gifts provide more than $10 million annually to charities serving our local, national and global community. To learn more about the LCF or its Ending Family Violence Initiative, go to TheLCF.org.