Support Team for Congregations

What is the Support Team for Congregations?

The Support Team for Congregations 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. The qualifications are that you be a compassionate lay person or clergy, are willing to travel to the place of need, and can maintain confidentiality. Mental health and counseling experience and education are helpful, but not necessary.  

The crisis could be one of the following:

  • Sudden death of a pastor or prominent lay person in the congregation
  • Embezzlement or misuse of funds by pastor or lay person
  • Ministerial or clergy sexual misconduct
  • Laity sexual misconduct directly involving the congregation
  • Sudden sabbatical by a pastor
  • Church closures
  • Sexual abuse of a church member at a church camp or other church event
  • Any other instance as requested by the bishop or the bishop’s representative

A support team can be a valuable resource to the complainant and/or the local congregation or organization where the accused was employed. The support team can be vital in providing support to move forward in healing and to provide education to help understand the nature of abuse by faith leaders.  

Through training, participants will understand the role of power and vulnerability in boundary violations and sexual misconduct. The process will include information on de-briefing following trauma and what to expect from all involved in support situations. We will include segments on listening and how to help move individuals, congregations, and staff through a healthy grief and healing process.

If you have questions, email the Rev. Mitch Reece.