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New and improved 2nd edition of the "Bruised Reeds & Smoldering Wicks" trauma-informed curriculum for churches now available!


I am pleased to announce that a NEW, 8-week version of the study, "Bruised Reeds and Smoldering Wicks," is now available. This 2nd edition includes input I received from the ACEsConnection community and others which resulted in two additional weeks of material. You still get the movie, "Paper Tigers," and the licensing to show it to up to 250 in an educational or religious setting, but there is much more...

And, while a number of edits have gone into this second edition of the curriculum, my main purpose has stayed the same… the purpose of speaking primarily to childhood trauma. Trauma experienced by children and in our own childhood has a much more significant impact on our physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being as individuals. Indeed, the trauma many experienced as children has an impact that lasts for the rest of an individual’s lifetime. In an effort to make this connection more evident, I have included a week near the conclusion of the study specifically focused on adults living in traumatizing situations or with a trauma history. I don’t think the issue of a ministry becoming trauma-informed is an either/or proposition when it comes to children’s or adult trauma, it’s just that my ministry experience has shown me that it is in curbing childhood trauma that the Church has the greatest opportunity to affect lasting societal change.

The curriculum now concludes with a "well, now what do we do?" study with suggestions as to how YOUR faith community can translate trauma-informed principles and contextualize them for wherever God has called you. This 8th week should provide a launching pad for those who feel called to implement a trauma-informed ministry in their church or community!

I am indebted to the over 100 congregations, homeless shelters, small groups and various ministries that engaged with the first edition of the materials. Their feedback and encouragement has hopefully made this second edition better and more comprehensive. I am thankful to you for your willingness to explore these issues within your faith community and for what that might mean for so many that have yet to find a church or fellowship that welcomes them as they work through their trauma story.

Some of those who used the first version of the curriculum volunteered to provide not just their feedback, but a short testimonial as to how they used the curriculum in their context and how they found it helpful:

“I am using it in a bible study for women living in a local shelter.  It has been very well received and the women have been interested to learn about ACEs and how Jesus interacted with those who have been through trauma… thank you for developing this study!”Deb Bishop, Orange City, Iowa

“Everyone, and I mean everyone, has really enjoyed the Bible studies… Our discussions have been rich, edifying, encouraging, and life-giving. Thank you so much for this wonderful work. More people need to experience it!”Dr. Stan Sonu, MD, MPH; Grady Memorial Hospital; Emory University School of Medicine

"I give my highest recommendation of the Bruised Reeds & Smoldering Wicks adult study.  Each of the six classes provided valuable information about the importance of trauma-informed ministry.  In addition to learning more about compassionate care, I found the scripture, readings, short videos and discussions very uplifting to me personally by enriching my Christian faith." - Suzanne Mannix, Mental Health Advocate; Helena, MT.

“For a church that has been hosting an open community meal for years, this curriculum was an excellent first step toward a deeper understanding of how we can best love all people who walk in our door. Even those whose life experiences make them prickly or distant. It was a real launching point in the reshaping of our ministry together.” - Jacqui Buschor; Columbus, OH

“The curriculum gave us a biblical framework that allowed us to address ACE's with our congregation.” - Pastor Donald Spachman, Greenville 1st United Methodist Church; Greenville, Michigan

“The Bruised Reeds study was recommended to our church by a mental health professional who is also a Christian. We had already been learning about the scientific studies and medical evidence that have caught up with what God has already told us in His Word. Our faith is strengthened as we move forward in creating a new trauma-informed environment at our church… We participated in this study as a pre-cursor to starting a new ministry. The leaders have announced a fellowship meeting that will take place … and we invited all the people who expressed an interest in finding support at the church.”Heather Halverson; Annandale, VA.


You can order the second edition of the curriculum by clicking HERE.

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