wallking wounded: hope for those hurt by church & ministry

It’s been a long while since we’ve hosted a Walking Wounded: Hope for Those Hurt by Church and Ministry, an online course that my dear friend and collaborator, Phyllis Mathis and I created a chunk of years ago to help men and women of all different backgrounds and experiences find their way to greater healing after some kind of church, faith, ministry wound.

Really, it’s about grief. About honoring our feelings in a safe space, about hanging out with other people who have different stories but with the same thread, and about gathering some tools to use to keep digging out toward freedom.

When we set the date for this we truly didn’t know what the USA would be experiencing, but in thinking about it there really couldn’t be a better time for those who need it t get a little extra help. The election stuff has stirred up a lot of deep things related to faith and church in a significant way and while that’s not exact the focus of the course, the timing is probably right.

Walking Wounded is for anyone who is working through a painful and confusing aftermath of a negative faith-based experience as a leader, student, church member, pastor–anyone.

If you’ve been asked or forced to leave a church because of theological differences or questioning, felt forced to conform or been 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, or are having significant trouble post-election related to how it intersects with Christianity, you will be in good company.

It’s a mix of video, conversation, readings, journaling, storytelling, and wellness exercises, all centered on moving through the confusion in to a place of greater purpose and peace.  We laugh, we cry, we find healing in knowing we’re not the only ones.

You’re not crazy, and you’re not alone.  

I always say I wish we didn’t need this course, but I’m glad it exists. For me, it’s an honor to be part of it each and every time.

If you or anyone else you know would like to join us, we start on February 13th and you need to register as soon as you can as space is limited.

Go to Transform Network for all of the details and registration information.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

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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.


  • SO highly recommend this course — it makes space for things you don’t even know you’re allowed to make space for. It changed my life and journey in powerful ways.

  • Thanks for this info, Kathy. Great to have such a resource available.

    Just an FYI (including your readers, a few of whom may know something of me and my work… among other things a Kindle ebook: “Spiritual Growth: Live the Questions, Love the Journey”): I continue my efforts in my own mainline (United Church of Christ) church. I am trying to help set up and guide a robust education and growth process as a lay person “merely” on a ministry team (previously “committee”) for “Christian Ed and Spiritual Growth”. The church has gradually emerged from a “near death experience” and has been very intentional re. healing, becoming healthier within, and sharpening our mission which includes rebuilding numbers of members and finances. Thankfully, not a lot of attention on the latter.

    The faith-shift issue takes a bit different form in our situation. No one gets pressured out or marginalized (that I’ve been able to see, at least in recent years… I’ve been there about 2 only). We are not in the official UCC designation of “open and affirming” (re. LGBT issues) but informally so. We are activist for marginalized and needy in the community and broader. So all that is good.

    But we are still theologically quite diverse and not fully facing it. And adult ed is very weak, at least as to formal structure in classes, programs, publications, etc. I give that as lead-up to share this: In a couple weeks I’ll be attending a conference at Claremont Sch.of Theol. (east of LA) on the future of theology (or theologies). Where is it going? What within theological systems is offering particular benefit for churches, society, the planet? And such issues. I’d imagine it will engage the current sad, critical political situation along the way. I know some things I’ll be looking for and input to give, but I’d like to invite you and your readers to share if they have any points they’d like me to watch for or ask about particularly.

    I’ll add this “post script”: Directions taken by “theology” among scholars or church leaders may seem largely irrelevant or too abstract for most people. I get that, and in some ways share the view. HOWEVER, I also know that the priorities and thought categories pursued by “thinkers” do powerfully trickle down in a usually-slow process, eventually getting into popular consciousness and influencing both thinking and action. I also know that cognitive consistency (vs. dissonance) is very important for emotional health. Our culture-wide weakness (growing, it seems to me) in being able to apply consistent and deep thought to both our own belief systems and to critiquing those we encounter is a seriously limiting factor in becoming healthier and more robust personally and in our communities.

  • Hi Kathy! Thanks for offering this. I’ll be doing the course from Kenya. Just confirming, is all the material online? ’cause I’m not sure I could get anything shipped here if some of the material will be mailed. Thanks

    • sorry for my late response, kieya. so glad you can be part from across the miles. we have had people from all over the world be part, and it works really well because all of the materials are online and you can access it whenever works for you! look forward to next week together!


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