In episode 2 we hear from a pastor in a small congregation whose story of abuse was only the beginning of the pain and loss. Heather shares how her most difficult obstacle to healing was the ramifications of what happened once she disclosed her abuse, but she also shares beautiful and grace-filled insights on how we can learn to do better. Thank you, Heather, for your courage to share and for the wisdom of your story that prompts us to include some links below to resources to continue the conversation in our own spaces!
Heather provided a succinct definition of Clergy Sexual Abuse that was so helpful. If you’re looking for a deeper understanding of that phrase and the topic in general, this simple yet quality resource might be of value to you. Understanding Sexual Abuse by a Church Leader or Caregiver (2nd edition) by Heather Block
Trauma Informed Churches is an organization dedicated to making churches a safe place for those who have experienced trauma of any kind or at any age. Full of insight and practical guidance, it’s a great place for anyone in a religious space to gain understanding & skills in creating safe spaces. https://www.traumainformedchurches.org/
Heather spoke of a theology of emotion, for those who are processing the grief of clergy abuse, perhaps this grief ball resource can be helpful as it names the emotions involved in grief and visualizes how they are intertwined together.
Post-Recording Note from Heather:
Thank you for listening and I am praying my story will be of encouragement to you. I pray that you will be ignited with hope because of the ‘fever of love’ Jesus has for you and his desire for you to be healed and restored!
I would like to note, since my resignation in July of 2021 I no longer hold the title of Pastor. To my surprise my credentials were removed upon my resignation BUT I still hold my calling. I lost community, income, employment, reputation, the list goes on, all because I found my voice and stood my ground. I resigned due to my principals and because of the destruction left in the wake of broken trust.
Walking away for me was not not failure, it was freedom!
To my fellow survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse, breathe deep and receive freedom as you navigate the road least traveled and as you step into all God has for you in your healing journey!
Receive peace in Jesus name, you are not alone!—Heather
If you, or someone you know, has been the victim of clergy sexual abuse, Hagar's Voice is working together to stop the abuse & start building a better way. We are here for you, you are not alone. www.HagarsVoice.com