"As people are leaving formal institutions—they're no longer members of a congregation—it doesn't mean that their spirituality no longer exists. They're still looking for community. They're still looking for mentorship and intergenerational connection. And for most of them they still believe in God or a higher power," says Casper ter Kuile, HDS Ministry Innovation Fellow.
Preventing and healing child abuse involves more than medical care or social work. For many, particularly those whose abuse involved religious figures, it must incorporate faith as well. “Faith and Flourishing: Strategies for Preventing and Healing Child Sexual Abuse,” an online symposium on April 8 co-sponsored by Harvard Divinity School, will bring together survivors, public health experts, and religious leaders from various traditions to explore best practices for confronting and ending such abuse as well as promoting recovery.
The Rev. Mel Kawakami, MDiv '74, ThM '85, is a retired pastor and pastoral counselor for the United Methodist Church. He spent his career helping communities devastated by unexpected loss, including his tenure as pastor of the Newtown United Methodist Church in the heart of Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
Some of us might feel guilty about grieving, especially if we haven’t actually lost someone to COVID-19. But as we are all grieving the lost rhythms of our daily lives as well as our feelings of familiarity and safety, gratitude can help us build resiliency and look to the future.
"But when you are grieving, you need to allow space for that to happen. Parents are so busy right now. Even the notion that they would have a few minutes to feel something feels radical to me, as someone who is trained in the reflective art of noticing feelings,” said Laura Tuach, associate director of field education and Instructor in Ministry Studies.
“People were meeting what they identified as spiritual needs, but doing them in organizations that had no apparent spiritual connection,” said HDS Associate Dean for Ministry Studies Dudley Rose. “Like SoulCycle. People would cite SoulCycle.”
"I think it's because they want that professional degree, and they want the respect that should come with that," said Patricia Simpson, counselor to Roman Catholic Students and Instructor in Ministry Studies at HDS. "I think they want to be able to state that they've prepared academically to the same level as ... the men being ordained."