experimenting with new venues for healing

experimenting with new venues for healingi love safe containers for healing and change.  there is something that always seems to happen when a space is created for openness, honesty & challenge.  my most favorite thing to do is facilitate these kinds of groups in some way, shape or form, and i am so thankful that a big piece of my day-to-day at the refuge is to create different types of sacred spaces.

in this upcoming year i am hoping to experiment with a few new venues for healing.  we all know that online connection can be more meaningful than it might seem, and even though i wish everyone could be in the same room at the same time, sometimes that is just not possible.  online, in a safe container with other people in the same boat, can be the next-best-thing in the right kinds of contexts.  for the past 2 months i have been facilitating a let’s-try-it-and-see-how-it-goes-because-i-have-some-hurting-friends-who-need-extra-love-and-hope online divorce group for women to gain some strength, support, and healing in the grieving process;  i have found that even though i miss the face-to-face, the reality is that none of us would be meeting without it being online because everyone lives all over the US.  plus, it’s really amazing what’s possible with people in similar situations, desiring change and open to work for a season.

with that, i am excited to partner in early 2012 with my wonderful and wise friend phyllis mathis on a 4 week online workshop for men & women based on our walking wounded: hope for those hurt by church gathering that we hosted in denver last month.  you can check out all of the details here.  it is one of the first times i have actually ever charged for something i am doing! and honestly, it is time for me to be willing to do that in the right contexts.  don’t worry, i won’t be bombarding you with marketing stuff and this is not my new job but rather an extension of what you all know i am really passionate about–transformation, connection, and healing.  i am glad to be able to also partner with live it to the full, which is a great platform for online classes and workshops that will make it easy for me & for participants.  in the first part of 2012 i am hoping to open up the divorce group to others beyond just my little experiment and also offer a down we go: living into the wild ways of Jesus workshop for those wanting to explore the material a little more deeply & practically.  i’ll keep you posted on both of these (and a few other ideas brewing) as details come together.

meanwhile, the date for this first one is set for january 9th 2012 after the holidays and registration is now open  if you or someone you know is in this spot of being stuck, disillusioned, burned-out, or just plain hurt and would like to be a part, we’d love to have you.  feel free to email me if you have any questions.

here are the basics:

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Hope for Those Hurt by Church

For most of us, our faith journey is the most essential thing about us, the closest thing to the core of who we are. So whenever some major shift in perspective rocks our faith, or we’re involved in a conflict involving our faith community, it goes deep, affecting our soul in some surprising ways.

If you are feeling lost, disillusioned or hurt as a result of a shift in your faith or by a negative church (or other faith community) experience, this just might be the class for you.

Join us January 9 through February 3, 2012 for Walking Wounded: Hope for Those Hurt by Church. Class price is $49 and includes daily posts (Monday through Friday) and weekly exercises in journaling, storytelling, and wellness practices.

Course Description

Thousands of honest, sincere people are finding themselves on the outside of a faith system they once held dear. The sadness, anger, disillusionment and fear can be debilitating. And confusing.

Have You:

  • Been asked to leave a church or told you’re not a “good fit”?
  • Felt forced to conform or remain consistently overlooked?
  • Been told that you are loved but not your sin?
  • Questioned leadership or theology and found yourself on the outside?
  • Felt sad, angry, afraid, lost, or disoriented after painful church experiences?
  • Experienced a significant shift in your theology or faith perspective and find yourself feeling disoriented and unsure?

You are not lost, and you are not alone.

Walking Wounded: Hope for Those Hurt By Church is designed to help you move through the painful and confusing aftermath of a negative faith-based experience.

In this 4 week class you will:

  • Connect with others who have similar experiences
  • Identify your losses and reclaim your dreams
  • Tell your story and receive support
  • Work through your unfinished business
  • Learn effective practices to restore a sense of sanity

Through interviews, conversation, journaling and storytelling, Kathy Escobar and Phyllis Mathis will guide you through the confusion and into a place of purpose and peace.


Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar is dedicated to creating safe and brave spaces for transformation and healing in real life, online, and outside. She co-pastors at The Refuge, a hub for healing community, social action, and creative collaboration in North Denver, co-directs #communityheals, a non-profit organization dedicated to making spaces for transformation accessible for all, and is the author of Practicing: Changing Yourself to Change the World, Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.


  • Oh I could *not* be more excited for you guys to embark on this journey. I hope you know how much I value your wisdom, compassion, and voice. Getting to see you in the day to day grind allows me the opportunity to see just how much loving over the long haul truly transforms. Who knows where I would be without the conduit of an online format!! I am sooooo happy that others who can’t just pack up and move 😉 get to be a part of the beauty. xo

    • it is kind of wild, isn’t it, what online connection can lead to?? so glad it lead you to us! xoxoxo

  • Great! This can help so many people.

    Since I attended the Walking Wounded workshop at The Refuge in October, I highly recommend this workshop to anyone who has been wounded by church. Kathy and Phyllis do a great job with the material.

    The main thing I took away from the workshop: Many of us have been wounded by the “church”. We are Legion. Many have walked away from church and some have walked away from God. But there is hope. It can and usually does get better. There is life after “religion”. It can, and often does, include God.

    There are options to “church as we have known it”. Wow! Are there! One of my favorite is getting out and mixing with people who aren’t in church on Sunday morning, talking to them, doing something with them or for them. A really big shock – There are lots of really nice people out there. Some of them follow Jesus. They may live under a bridge, but they follow Jesus, even if they don’t show up for “church services”.

    If you’ve been wounded by church, check out this workshop!

    • oh you are so good to me. thanks for the love & friendship & for “getting it” it is more comforting than you know!


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