Spirit Fire is a Christian Restorative Justice Initiative which promotes healing and new life for individuals, families, parishes, clergy, religious, and communities wounded by the abuse of children or vulnerable adults in settings of faith.
Our primary goal is to offer, from our own experience of sexual abuse by clergy, a very real hope for a new and well life among individuals, families, parishes, clergy, religious, and communities wounded by the abuse of children or vulnerable adults in settings of faith.
Spirit Fire Survivors have walked the arduous path of recovery and integrated our faith into a new and well life. We return, in the spirit of "wounded healers" (as imagined by Carl Jung, Henri Nouwen, and others), to offer our experience of recovery and faith to survivors of abuse or trauma, as well as to family members, parishes, ministers and clergy -- and the whole Church.
All are welcome. Abusers do not discriminate among victims, nor is the harm inflicted limited to certain groups. Neither do we discriminate. We offer a sanctuary to all, and for this reason have established guidelines to reduce the possibility of triggering, re-wounding, or vicariously wounding anyone who comes to this safe space to heal by learning and sharing faith stories.
We work with Church leadership and dioceses, clergy and parishes, and other groups seeking to understand and offer a trauma-informed pastoral care:
Due to constraints related to the pandemic and lock down, we no longer offer one-on-one spiritual direction or pastoral counseling. Please seek help closer to home, or explore virtual support using helplines such as those we've posted.
During the pandemic, we have provided secure, virtual webinars, panel discussions, and other programming to promote trauma-informed pastoral care.
Spirit Fire publishes and/or promotes mostly resources, which are mostly free, for those seeking to find a way to integrate recovery from abuse (especially, but not limited to, abuse by clergy) with their faith - and for those seeking to help others do so. Resources include articles, books, webinars, online prayer services, private online discussion groups, and, most recently, the free Spirit Fire Global Broadcast Series on Abuse and Faith.
Spirit Fire is not a professional counseling program. Please do not hesitate to seek qualified counselors near you if that is what you need.
Spirit Fire does not provide a forum for debate or airing of grievances. That worthy work is amply supported by other, able groups. Please reach out to groups with whom you share points of view and a sense of mission if you feel called to seek change.
Our initiative compliments these and many other programs. It appeals to survivors, family members, as well as parishes, faith groups, clergy, ministries, educators. Spirit Fire is helpful wherever someone seeks to inform their healing and/or to integrate faith into their recovery. People find solace, wisdom, and strength in sharing faith stories and learning a fuller context for the issues of abuse, recovery, and reform.
Due the pandemic, we do not provide direct support to fellow survivors or others in personal need. We urge you to seek local resources and support persons. If you need help right now, please call 911 or use one of the hotlines or helplines, such as those we've listed here.
Due the pandemic, we are focused on virtual work helping grass-root groups develop trauma-informed pastoral care awareness and programs.
We serve clergy, ministers, diocesan and parish staffs.
We have prepared a Media Resource Kit for you to find information on child protection, human trafficking, trauma-informed pastoral care, and related protocols and protections. We have included basic information about our work you may wish to use, too. Generally, Spirit Fire eshews other media coverage.