The Epiphany Day Attack on the Capitol...
finding our way through the trauma, together.

 

While there is no end of commentary available to us all, it can be very empowering and healing for us to take time to share our own thoughts, concerns, fears, and questions about the events that shape our lives. The church community is one of the best places for us to carefully reflect on our values, what life lessons we might be learning and how God might call us to live and respond. Being "Church together" is pure gift!  

 

Several of us had an opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings in a meeting last Sunday afternoon. If you participated, thank you for being present to your siblings in Christ.  If you were not able to participate, perhaps these overview comments and resources will still be helpful to you.  

 

This last week's events stand out among the more frightful moments in American history. The actions were extreme, if not unprecedented.  As a nation we have been shocked at the lengths to which the protestors-turned rioters-went and how unprotected the revered spaces and public servants were in these spaces. We will continue, in the days and weeks ahead, to intentionally create spaces for us to walk together through the trauma and process the ways we are affected.

 

In our conversation on Sunday we organized our thoughts and comments around the images and actions that most deeply affected us, we shared how our thinking about the future has been shaped and we shared resources that we find helpful as well as a variety of news sources that participants have found helpful. A partial summary of key topics discussed and list of resources is below: 

 

  • Stress management: Choose to limit long periods of exposure to news outlets or visual images of violence. Reinforcing traumas adds ongoing trauma rather than allowing it to begin to heal.

  • Managing fear: Our brains and bodies are created to respond emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and physically to fear. Replaying fearful images, anticipating the future with fear creates a constant state of hypervigilance and "flight/fight/freeze" bio chemistry which can be damaging over time. Processing and letting go of fears and fearful habits and choosing to focus on actions that can help create a safe future can be healthier response for us and for those around us.

  • Talking, listening and refocusing on God's vision for the world can "ground" us and mitigate against normalizing violence of any kind.

  • Social Media: is a mixed blessing and all political/social information must be carefully veted; "snopes", Fact-Check.org, Politifact.org and other fact-checking sites can help clarify the veracity of information; share only that which you know to be truthful.

  • Followers of Jesus must speak out against outright lies, manipulations, racism, bigotry and falsehoods propagated. Silence is not the answer against cultish dynamics. (Silence is Not the Answer is a book by Pastor George Johnson supporting Christians to act and faithfully speak up in the face of evil.)

  • There is no "they" we can point to when frustrated with political realities. Elected officials respond to and are accountable to the "bar" of ethics and moral social policy which is set for them by the citizens and society. We are responsible to communicate with elected officials and to require they act on a standard which is honest, just, compassionate and safeguards creation and essential social systems for future generations.
     

(A limited list of News Sources mentioned by participants)

 

Practices encouraging Peace and Renewal:
 

  • Sunday am worshipPrayer / Meditation / Music / Quiet (non-screen-based activities)

  • Bible Study

  • Connecting to church community

  • Walking / Time in nature / Gardening

 

If you would like to see us schedule another open conversation about any of the current events which challenge us and call for a deeper look at our response, please contact Pastor Janet.

 

God's peace - which surpasses all understanding and circumstances - be with you all.

Pastor Janet