On the 24th of March we will host our first (I hope we do it regularly!) forum to discuss issues related to spiritual abuse in Christian churches. While I will do most of the presenting on the 24th, my hope is that in future meetings we will hear from many more survivors, educators, counselors, etc., and also engage in much discussion and sharing of our experience in the area!
Anyone who knows me at all knows that this issue is one of both personal and professional interest to me. I was a member of an abusive church from 1984-1996. Many of my friends from that church left it, too, and we are still very close to this day. As a pastor, I routinely meet people who visit our church and share a history of being a part of a spiritually abusive church or ministry. So, if you have any interest in this area, perhaps just curious, or are even a survivor of spiritual abuse yourself, or perhaps have a friend or loved one whom you suspect is in a controlling, spiritually abusive church, please consider yourself invited! If you are able, please respond on our Facebook page (Grace Church, Portland), on the Events invite, so we can have an idea of how many people to plan for. Blessings, Ken
Here’s the event announcement, posted on Facebook:
You are warmly invited to an informal meeting to increase awareness of spiritual abuse in Christian churches. Pastor Ken Garrett is a former member of a spiritually abusive church, and has earned a doctoral degree specializing in the phenomena of spiritual abuse as found in Christian churches. Ken will present his findings regarding the definition and qualities of churches that control and inflict spiritual, emotional damage on their members. This is an excellent opportunity for information and connection for those who have been hurt by spiritually abusive churches, family members of those who may be in an abusive church, or simply those who would like more information about the issue.
We will serve Coffee, refreshments, and pastries at 8:30am, and start our meeting at 9am. Children are welcome (although childcare is not provided). Please contact Ken @ firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. No hand raising, covenant signing, small group sessions, financial support, homework, personal sharing, or signing-up required! 🙂
ALL ARE WELCOME