Joy and grief

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In this Sunday’s message (Dec. 17, 2023), Brother Dave addresses this congregant question: “How can those of us who haven’t experienced evangelical church trauma provide support to those who have? How can we encourage, propose, and model healthy church practices without coming across as dismissive or impatient with those recovering from trauma?” Drawing from Romans 12:9–16, Brother Dave suggests that deconstruction (or recovering from trauma) is not about eliminating sad or traumatic memories but about reframing and reclaiming them. Those who have not experienced (as much) church trauma can support those who have not by insisting on a joyful elimination of sadness but by empathetically entering into experiences of sadness (weeping with those who weep) in order to reclaim the joy found there (rejoicing with those who rejoice).

Notes

Jon Hamilton and Neda Ulaby, “Science Of Sadness And Joy: ‘Inside Out’ Gets Childhood Emotions Right,” NPR (online article)