January 15, 2021
Events to Honor Martin Luther King, Jr.

All are invited to view The American Dream, a 48-minute documentary that features stories about how pregnant women of color navigate the health care system.

You have free access to the film through this Sunday, Jan. 17. Click here and use the password: AuroraMLK.

Advocate Aurora Health is offering the public the opportunity to watch this documentary in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King spent many long days advocating for the rights of others and healthcare was certainly one of the themes he spoke and wrote about often.

The five-day virtual event begins with an online program, Jan. 18, from 9:00-10:00 a.m. 

2021 Theme: “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

The week-long virtual celebration will commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honor local community members and organizations dedicated to serving others. Participants will engage in a series of intentional conversations on the social determinants of health: education, food insecurity, health, racism and equality.

Jan. 18, 8:00- 9:30 a.m.

Sponsored by FaithBridge

The 2021 Virtual Martin Luther King, Jr., Interfaith Breakfast will feature Dr. Mark A. Hicks. Dr. Hicks is the Angus MacLean Professor of Religious Education at Meadville Lombard (Chicago) who also directs the activities of The Fahs Collaborative: A Laboratory for Innovation in Faith Formation.

As a scholar and practitioner of faith formation, Dr. Hicks calls upon the disciplines of philosophy and education, transformative learning, critical pedagogy and arts education as foundations for holistic, spiritually/emotionally grounded teaching and learning. His teaching and scholarship have been acclaimed by colleagues for their impact, and also lauded by participants whose learning is deepened by his ideas and practices.
Self-Care Corner
7 Ways to be more grounded

By: Amy Werdin

There’s been a lot about the past year that has been unsettling and can be disruptive to your mental health.

Work schedules have changed, kids are going to school from home, and even the football season has been unusual. Sometimes, you just need to find a way to be more grounded.

“Like many other things this past year, or during general times of stress, unanticipated events or changes to familiar routines can impact mental health. In football, intentional grounding is something to be avoided, but when it comes to our mental health, grounding should be at the top of our playbook,” says Rebecca Westrate, a nurse practitioner with Advocate Medical Group based in Wauconda, IL.

Grounding exercises are small practices you can do to bring you to the here and now. The aim is to keep your mind and body connected and working together.

Career Opportunities
Catholic Charities' Youth and Family Therapeutic Services is expanding into the Round Lake and South Chicago communities.

YFTS provides trauma-informed and strengths-based, in-house and telehealth counseling to children and families in Round Lake, Englewood, Roseland and South Chicago.

Services are offered in English and Spanish. We are looking for Master’s level clinicians to provide services that address parenting and co-parenting, anxiety and depression, emotional, physical and sexual trauma, stress management and more.

If you have questions, please reach out to Meghan Ryan, Clinical Manager, Youth and Family Therapeutic Services with Catholic Charities, at mryan@catholiccharities.net or (312) 566-4528.

Click here for details and application links.
Upcoming Events

Jan. 18 – Feb. 12

Sponsored by the Institute for Empowering Communication

Facilitators: Rev. Joel Westby (ELCA) and Rev. Leslie Ritter-Jenkins (UCC)

We have studied and practiced Nonviolent Communication, also known as Empowering Communication, cumulatively for 30 years and found it invaluable in our work with staff, committees, worship, pastoral care, and self-care. Empowering Communication is not only consonant with Christianity, but in our experience, is a path that liberates the power of love within ourselves and in our relationships. In the workshops, you will learn tools that support congregational vitality and help heal in the world.

Jan. 19, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Sponsored by Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation

The theme of this year’s National Day of Racial Healing is The Sacred Talking Drum.

It’s a free, immersive, virtual event where participants will experience a racial healing circle and connect with others. We will also learn from youth leaders, enjoy multi-cultural drumming performances from venues across Chicago. Action groups will be formed to foster support for the youth movement.

Everyone is invited to participate. Together we can experience collective healing, and make commitments toward confronting systematic racism and transforming our institutions, our neighborhood, and our futures.

Peace in the Midst of the Storm with Restorative Justice Practices

Sponsored by Nehemia Trinity Rising

Social Wellness Online Peace Circle Check In

Jan. 21: 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Share with a diverse group of the community about how you are doing, tips for coping, what you are grateful for and concerned about, and opportunities to make a difference even while sheltered in place. Sessions are one hour each and limited to 15 persons per session. (This is not therapy.)

Restorative Justice Micro Mini Online Educational Session:
Transforming Community  

Jan. 21, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Restorative Justice emphasizes building healthy interpersonal, community and systemic relationships which prevent or repair unjust behavior through collective efforts. Share in an interactive educational session about the history, philosophy and practices of restorativejustice and how it can transform communities and unjust systems.

Please sign up for either event by emailing mday2@sbcglobal.net

Four Day Restorative Justice and Peace Circle Skills Transfer

Jan. 25-28

Sponsored by Nehemiah Trinity Rising

This is a highly interactive, four-day journey to gaining meaningful knowledge and skills for using Restorative Justice philosophy and practices in various settings. The skills transfer involves an overview of the history of Restorative Justice philosophy and its historical and present day use in building and sustaining self-healing communities. It also provides an overview of the various Restorative Justice processes and practices which contribute to creating a restorative community or environment, and much more.

Participants are provided with extensive material to enhance their learning and assist their work after completion of the Four Day Skills Transfer. For an application or questions, please contact 312.852.8520 or mday2@sbcglobal.net.

Jan. 28, 8:30 a.m. to noon

Sponsored by the Conservation Foundation

Spending time in nature has been shown to improve mental health. These panel of speakers will discuss the research and benefits to our mental health especially during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Feb. 2, noon-1:00 p.m.

Sponsored by AJC Chicago

In today’s world we are becoming increasingly polarized and divided when we need to come together. How can we speak with one another and not walk away?

Join us as we launch a series of quarterly conversations focused on how to engage in civil discourse with one another. We will explore civil discourse models and engage in meaningful discussion with community leaders.

February 4
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Hospice Foundation of America

When a death embodies both trauma and loss, the ensuing traumatic bereavement poses special challenges and demands more than mere grief facilitation. Drawing on cutting-edge information from psychology, traumatology, and thanatology, Dr. Rando identifies 12 essential core strategies for effective clinical intervention after deaths from acute natural causes, accident, disaster, suicide, or homicide.

  • Wednesdays, through Dec. 30
  • 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Sponsored by Advocate Aurora Health

“What’s Next?” is a weekly resilience program that combines evidence-based scientific studies with encouragement from faith-based resources. Participants will gain tools to:

  • build resilience amid the difficulties of life
  • learn from their experiences
  • use the knowledge they gain to nourish themselves and the world around them

Attend any or all sessions. LaShondria Purnell, RN, a faith community nurse with Advocate Aurora Health, facilitates "What's Next?" and looks forward to learning alongside you.
We welcome your submissions for future issues of the Chicagoland Trauma Informed Congregations Network newsletter.

Please contact Cindy Novak if you have an event, resource or story you'd like to share. Thank you!