unloading church baggage & moving forward.

In 2011, we hosted a live event at The Refuge called Walking Wounded: Hope for Those Hurt By Church. It was a great gathering of about 50 people, some from Denver, some from out of state–a place to laugh and grieve and gather some hope for the fallout of church and ministry pain. The next year, my friend Phyllis Mathis and I created a four week online course for people to access a more intentional space to walk through some of the big stuff that keeps us stuck. We loved it and ran groups for a couple of years before the platform we were using changed and we no longer had an easy to way to offer it.

I am so glad to say that we have a new partner on the class–Transform Network–and are starting a new group on May 27th! It’s a mix of video, reflection questions, practical exercises, and interaction with others who are finding their way, too. Our role is to facilitate the conversation and keep the group safe and nurture the content. One of the best parts is that you don’t have to go online at a certain time; there are 5 days in the group each week and you can participate at your own pace.

Here’s the promo material from the site:

Walking Wounded: Hope & Healing for Those Hurt by Church & Ministry

An online course focused on working through the painful and confusing aftermath of a negative faith-based experience as a leader, student, church member, pastor – anyone!

Have you …

  • been asked or forced to leave a church because of theological differences or questioning?
  • felt forced to conform or consistently overlooked
  • been on the receiving end of “love the sinner, hate the sin”
  • questioned church/ministry leadership and been shamed or discarded
  • felt sad, angry, afraid, lost or betrayed after a church/ministry leadership or member experience
  • experienced a “faith shift” and feel lonely, unsure or lost?

You are not lost, and you are not alone.

Through video, conversation, readings, journaling, storytelling and wellness exercises, Kathy Escobar & Phyllis Mathis will guide a small group of Transform Network friends through the confusion and into a place of purpose and peace. A great course for those who want to do their own healing before leading others spiritually, for those who are “done” with church but want emotional closure, or anyone who feels a connection to these ideas. ALL are welcome. ALL.

$59 (introductory rate) for 4 weeks of material and facilitation. May 13-June 3. 

All of the details to register are here.

On Wednesday May 20th, there will be an open video conversation hosted by Transform that’s not directly connected to the class but a way to get a taste.  All of those details are here and would love for you to be part!

It’s important to know that you don’t have to be online at a certain time. You can do it at your own pace. We have a video to start each week, along with reflection questions and exercises and ways to process, and you can access it when it works for you each week.

This class will incorporate some of the stuff from Faith Shift, mainly from the Unraveling section but fleshed out in some different ways.  I am excited to be doing a Faith Shift Processing Party in Denver on May 27th and hoping to get the content videotaped and create a way to interact with the material here on the blog so that those who haven’t been in cities where we did live parties can be part.  More on that coming, and if you or someone you know is in Denver, all are welcome.

Meanwhile, if you have any questions about Walking Wounded, let me know. You can always email me or post any comments.

Our hope is always that people feel less crazy, less alone and find some ways to move forward. 

Every time I’ve done it, I always feel a little lighter and honored to be in the company of such brave and honest souls.

peace, kathy

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.


  • Four years already! I was there and remember that chalk body outline on the sidewalk in front of the Grange.

    For anyone who wonders what the course is and is not about, what I experienced was processing the unraveling many of us have experienced of what the institutional church once meant to us. It is not a sneaky attempt to get us to reconnect with that institution and the systems often associated with it.

    Some may decide to reconnect with the institution and others such as my wife and I choose to follow Jesus outside the institution. Not only is it possible to follow Jesus outside the institution, but many of us have also discovered that works so much better for us.

  • How does the open video conversation work? I live in Austria so 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. EDT would be 3:00 – 4:00 a.m. for me. I am interested, but not interested enough to get up at 3:00 a.m. 🙂

    • hey janet, the open conversation is just one time, before the class starts on the 20th. the rest of the timing is all on your own. we post wednesday-sunday, and you can do it whenever works for you. we’ve had people from different places in the world participate in the past because there’s not a time you have to be online. let me know if you have any other questions.

      • Thank you for your reply, Kathy! I was kind of hoping that since it was on youtube (if I understand correctly), it might be accessible at other times as well. I have registered for the class and actually am looking forward to it 🙂

  • Hey Kathy. I am from Canada and tried to register , but there is no option for Canada that I can see in the registration form. Can I participate outside of the US?


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