The Bishop’s Response Team is called into a situation of crisis or trauma within a congregation in order to promote the possibility of healing for the congregation and the individuals involved. Often, but not always, the crisis is an allegation of sexual misconduct on the part of the clergy person serving the church. The Great Plains Conference is committed to having clergy who are people of integrity and trust and to nurturing healing when the trust is broken.
We are currently in the process of developing the Bishop’s Response Team for the conference. The team is composed of lay persons and clergy who have good listening skills, are trustworthy, able to keep confidences, reliable and compassionate. People who have training and experience in mental health, counseling, crisis intervention, conflict resolution and legal issues are excellent candidates for this response team.
Members of the team are expected to be willing to respond when called on to participate in a healing process. Quite often, this will happen on a Sunday but may include additional time for the preparation for and debriefing of the response. Team members will also be expected to attend ongoing training that will develop the relationships among team members which will mean the greatest effectiveness in the healing process.
Through training, participants will understand the role of power and vulnerability in boundary violations and sexual misconduct. The process will include information on debriefing following trauma and what to expect from all involved in response situations. We will include segments on listening and how to help move individuals, congregations and staff through a healthy grief and healing process.
There is no cost to attend, unless you prefer a single motel room. The cost for lodging and lunch on Saturday is covered by the Board of Ordained Ministry, but you do need to register. A letter of reference from a clergy person (if a lay person) or district superintendent (if clergy) is necessary. This letter can be sent to the Rev. Nancy Lambert, 3333 Landmark Circle, Lincoln NE 68504 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need additional information, please contact the Rev. Nancy Lambert, director of Clergy Excellence at email@example.com or 402-464-5994, ext 126. Participation in the training does not guarantee you will be selected by the bishop to serve on the response team.