Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds
In keeping with the call to be radically inclusive and to offer diverse
and accessible worship, a new offering of a trauma-sensitive Eucharist at the Cathedral
is being planned. Bishop John Stephens has given permission for this at the request of
Dean Christopher Pappas. Currently the hope is to offer such a service four times a
year. The first is planned for January 30.
People often ask what it means to be trauma-sensitive in worship. Simply put, it means
we proceed with an understanding that there may be trauma survivors in our midst and
that we seek to act with sensitivity to this in considering word, practice, and space. To
build a broader awareness of the importance of trauma sensitivity in worship, and to
offer materials to further that awareness, liturgical resources were created with the
support of the Anglican Foundation of Canada. The materials are available to support
interested congregations and fulfill a call to enhance and transform parish ministry, and
we will be using these.
Trauma is a word frequently heard these days. There are indeed many people in our
midst who have suffered traumatic experiences. It is estimated that 60% of the
population has experienced some form of trauma and that 8% to 10% suffers from
some degree of post-traumatic stress. This means that in a congregation of 100
people, 60 will have navigated trauma and 8 to 10 will be living with the challenges of
We hope our gatherings and faith communities will be a place of welcome and rest,
however there are potentially disturbing words and images in a typical Anglican liturgy.
Some of these are found in the liturgical texts themselves. While no one can anticipate
all possible challenges, we seek to better understand and to find language that is
trauma-sensitive yet remains true to Anglican theology and tradition. Because so many
live with the effects of trauma, we are endeavouring to increase our awareness here at
the Cathedral, and in so doing also hope to increase accessibility and sense of
welcome. This is a learning journey, and we are just beginning. We thank you in
advance for your grace and support.