The AC2023 Offering will be shared equally with two exceedingly worthy causes, both at the heart of the gospel that we share at this moment in this world.
Help Create Trauma Responsive and Healing Centered Faith Communities
We are excited to provide an opportunity to support a timely and much needed ministry and training opportunity. Partnering with Crossnore’s Center for Trauma Resilient Communities, we want to support clergy and lay leaders in the process of building more trauma responsive and healing centered faith communities.
We know that loss and adversity are universal, and that the majority of the US population has experienced one or more traumatic events that have a lasting impact on people's minds, bodies and spirits. In a world that is simultaneously experiencing the effects of generations of racial trauma, a COVID-19 pandemic, and high levels of loneliness and mental health struggles, this culture shift is more important than ever. Add to that those church communities who have experienced trauma, division, and heartbreak.
Research and experience shows us that trauma disconnects us from ourselves and our own bodies, and it isolates us from each other. True healing happens in the context of safe and supportive relationships. Our faith communities can provide the safety and healing that people who are hurting need now more than ever.
By learning about the science of trauma and resilience, our churches can become equipped for healing centered engagement. Through interactive training, experiential learning, and practical skill building, faith communities can begin to embed and embody trauma resilience within their congregations. Crossnore's Center for Trauma Resilient Communities is nationally recognized for leading the work in schools, health care providers, human services agencies, and faith communities.
This offering will be used to create training opportunities for laity and clergy across our Conference over the next year to understand and develop skills in creating trauma responsive and healing centered faith communities. This training will strengthen churches, families, and communities across Western North Carolina.
Help Build United Methodist Churches in Ukraine After the War
Nine million Ukrainians have left the country during the war. United Methodist Churches across Europe are welcoming Ukrainians in their communities, offering hospitality, friendship, and spiritual fellowship. Many are asking "How can we connect with the United Methodist Church after the war, when we return to Ukraine?" Two United Methodist Churches have so far been started by Ukrainian refugees: one in Germany and one in Netherlands. We believe more will follow. Though Ukrainian refugees live in one village or city in Europe, they may originate from different parts of the country - we will work to connect different groups of refugees with each other to prepare to start new churches after the war. Amid the pain and tragedy of the war, many people are seeking God, they have found much love and support from Christians, and there is a general openness to the gospel. Bishop Christian Alsted has stated, "We believe, this is a window of opportunity for the church.”