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When you preach on a typical Sunday morning, you can be sure that you are looking in the faces of people who have been and are being sexually abused. More that one in five women and at least one in eleven men report being sexually abused as children, and these figures do not account for the sexual abuse of adults. This means that on any given Sunday morning in every church, victims, abusers, and their families all sit, stand, listen, sing, and pray together at the worship service. Left alone, these lives can follow a path of failure and destruction despite wonderful preaching and otherwise effective programming. This book will equip pastors, particularly, but also educators, spiritual directors, and anyone called to a ministry of compassion to begin to address this great hurt.The Pastoral Responses series is designed to help pastors and other pastoral caregivers deal with crises or significant difficulties. Called upon to offer advice, guidance, and comfort to parishioners, their families, and the congregation on a myriad of medical, mental health, social, legal, and theological issues, these books offer concrete, practical suggestions for the situations that pastors face in the parish today
Sexual abuse is a chaotic monster that damages the image of God and denies its full possibilities to victims, abusers, and those closest to them. Spiritual wholeness is mocked as trust and hope are systematically destroyed. Pastors, however, can facilitate the healing of sexual abuse, because they offer the grace and compassion of God through the church. This book equips pastors, educators, spiritual directors, and everyone called to ministry to address this sensitive, devastating issue.
Hedges-Goettl specializes in treating children and adolescents and assessing sex offenders. Dr. Hedges-Goettl is ordained in the Presbyterian Church.