Trauma is a part of being human. No one escapes it. Some manage to heal and gain perspective and strength. Some get managed by it. Most of us are somewhere in the middle.
These dynamics are also at play in our communities of faith.
Join us in a daylong seminar using a Bowen Family Systems lens to engage our thinking and responses to trauma. It is an invitation to observe the possibilities for strength and resilience in times of unprecedented change and challenge.
The program will:
observe the reality of the communities we serve.
explore ways of responding to and managing the effects of trauma in ourselves and in our communities.
apply a systems approach to trauma in a variety of different circumstances.
Morning Keynote: "Turbulent Times, Trauma and Thinking?!?!? How can Bowen Theory be useful?"
Afternoon Keynote: "Sinking and Swimming in Systems - What is the help that is helpful?"
Amie Post, MA, LCMFT
Bio: Amie Post is currently serving as a part time Clinical Director at the Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County, Maryland after 8 years as Executive Director. During her tenure, Amie supported efforts to interrupt patterns of conflict and violence, develop capacity in families and help all move forward more effectively. Additionally, Amie maintains a private clinical practice in Baltimore, MD and is a Clinical Associate at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington DC. Amie has been a student of Bowen Family Systems Theory since 2001 when she was a master’s student in Marriage and Family Therapy at Seton Hill University. She has completed four years of study at the Postgraduate Training Program of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family and served as a Clinical Intern there. Amie is on the faculty and serves as a member of the Board at the Bowen Center.
Over the course of her career Amie has worked with humans from all ages and stages - from being a two-year old preschool teacher to assisting older adults in a nursing home, in education, congregational leadership, counseling and caregiving. This breadth and depth of experience has provided a way of thinking about human development across the lifespan and helps Amie conceptualize the problems families and individuals encounter through an evolutionary lens of adaptation to challenge.
Amie studies a lot in the field of microbiology, evolution and other science stuff - not in an effort to develop content expertise but in an effort to develop a capacity to think broadly. She likes to think about how Bowen Theory posits that the human family is a product of evolutionary forces that has more in common with all other forms of life than not. Amie believes that studying other forms of life and understanding how they manage the challenges of adaptation provides a window into possible ways of thinking and seeing the challenges of adaptation that she is faced with in her own family and professional settings.
When Amie is out of the office, she can often be found curled up in a big brown chair with a nose stuck in a book or on a long walk in the woods. She is an oldest daughter who is married to an oldest son. They have partnered in life for over 25 years and have more or less launched 3 offspring from their nest.
Whom Shall I Fear? A resilient gospel
Drawing on lessons from scripture and conversations recorded in her book, "Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence," Rosalind C. Hughes explores questions of safety, security, and the application of a resilient gospel in parishes and congregational settings.
Rev. Rosalind C. Hughes
Bio: Rosalind C. Hughes is an Episcopal priest, poet, and author of two books: "A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing" and "Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence", both published by Upper Room Books. Educated in theology at Oxford University and with an MDiv from Bexley Hall, for the past decade and more she has served a small parish with a big heart just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. She also consults with congregations across the region interested in gun violence prevention and reduction.
Rev. Dr. Fulgence Nyengele
Resilience Is Relational: A Relational Frame to Strengthen Resilience in Stressful Times
We are living in stressful times that constantly threaten our quality of life and well-being. The pervasiveness of crises and traumatic life experiences evokes the need for resilience and hope in order to cope/survive and thrive. But what is resilience; and what does it really mean to be resilient? This workshop will use a relational frame to explore the complexity of resilience and attempt to identify ways in which resilience can be garnered and fostered in the face of adversity and risk.
Bio: Dr. Fulgence Nyengele is Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling in the L.A. Beeghly Chair and currently serves as Director of the Doctor of Ministry program and Thriving in Ministry Initiative at MTSO. He has also served for several years as Director of the M.A. in Counseling Ministries program, a professional counseling and addictions counseling program. He is the author of several publications, including, African Women’s Theology, Gender Relations, and Family Systems Theory: Pastoral Theological Considerations and Guidelines for Care and Counseling (Peter Lang, 2004), “Cultivating Ubuntu: An African Postcolonial Pastoral Theological Engagement with Positive Psychology” in Journal of Pastoral Theology (2014), and “Migratory Grief and Cultural Melancholia Among African Immigrants in the United States” in God Help Us!: Biblical Interrogations and Practical Applications of Pastoral Care Concerns for Black Churches (forthcoming, 2023), among others. Dr. Nyengele is an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church and member of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, the Society for Pastoral Theology, and the American Academy of Religion. Prior to joining the MTSO faculty he served United Methodist congregations in Southern California and as pastoral counselor at the Clinebell Institute for Pastoral Counseling in Claremont, California. He is originally from DR Congo.
Trauma and Forgiveness
How might one think about forgiveness in the aftermath of abuse? What new perspectives might emerge when we look through a BFST lens and use Differentiation of Self as a compass?
Rev. Dana Runestad
Bio: Dana Runestad has been a pastor in the Southeast Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 1986, where she has served in a variety of congregations and staff positions. She's a youngest sister of three brothers and the daughter of a pastor and a nurse. After relying on every Peter Steinke book to get her through thirty years of parish ministry, she took a deeper dive into Natural Systems Theory in 2015 with 3 years in the post-graduate program at the Bowen Center in Washington D.C. From 2018-2023 she participated in their Faith Leaders Seminar. She's been in a book club for over 20 years and enjoys hiking and good TV with her husband of forty years, Barry Rabe. (Dana rhymes with banana.) They have two grown sons.
Anthony J. Wilgus, MA, MSW
Trauma, Tribulation, and Bowen Theory
Societal definitions for what constitute trauma today have expanded in ways quite different from earlier scholarly reviews as that of Bessel van der Kolk's seminal work, "The Body Keeps the Score." Exploring the thinking of participants on challenging events in the life of humans, this workshop offers an opportunity to situate conventional explanations of victimhood within the framework of Bowen theory.
Bio: Anthony J. (Tony) Wilgus, faculty emeritus from the University of Findlay, taught social work for 28 years subsequent to a 10 year stint as a clinical social worker and administrator. After graduate school at the University of Michigan, he entered the post-graduate training program at the Georgetown Family Center from 1979-1981. Since that time, he has attended the annual symposia, presented numerous papers, and published manuscripts on a wide range of topics rooted in the family theory originated by Dr. Murray Bowen.
Currently, he resides in Oberlin, OH with his wife, Rev. Beth Marshall. He occupies the ‘next chapter of his life’ by serving on the Board of Healthy Congregations, Inc. and the Human Relations Commission in Oberlin. Cherishing his roles as a father of 3 lovely daughters and stepfather to a wonderful son and daughter, he now embraces the joys of grandparenthood to seven active youngsters ranging in age from 1 to 14. Gardening, biking, reading voraciously, and listening to the loons on a Canadian lake bring much joy as he endeavors to lead a life of contemplation in action.
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM Eastern
Welcome and Greeting
12:35 PM – 1:15 PM Eastern
Optional breakout rooms for those who wish to eat with others and a “drop in” room.
1:15 PM– 4:00 PM Eastern
Question & Answer
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Eastern
Optional Happy Hour
Grab your favorite beverage and be in conversation about the day.
Current HC Member $125
Current HC Member + Continuning Education Certificate $150
Non-Member + Continuing Education Certificate $200
Student Registration $125
Membership Bundle $250 includes Event Registration, 1-year HC Membership and Book of the Year
Students Membership Bundle $150 includes Event Registration, 1-year HC Student Membership and Book of the Year
Group Registration $275 2-5 people from the same household or organization
New to 2023!
"Watch Party" Sites
New this year! Healthy Congregations is pleased to announce two “Watch Party Sites” in Ohio for the 2023 September Event. Participants are invited to gather at one of the two locations to be present with others, reconnect, and make new connections. All keynote addresses, workshops, and panel discussions will be accessible via Zoom.
Keynote Speaker Amie Post will be in person at the Central Ohio location (All Shepherds Lutheran Church.)
All Shepherds Lutheran Church
6580 Columbus Pike
Lewis Center, OH 43035
Rev. Emily Corzine
Hudson United Methodist Church
2670 Hudson-Aurora Rd.
Hudson, OH 44236
Rev. Bruce Hartley, Pastor
To attend a “Watch Party” for the September 2023 Event:
1. Register and purchase your desired ticket type on this page
2. During the checkout process answer the question “Will you be attending a Watch Party site?” with YES, and select your desired location.
Already purchased a ticket and want to attend a Watch Party site? Email email@example.com to update your registration.