What role in your opinion faith communities can play in empowering their members and developing resilience?
Faith based communities can play an important role in empowering their members and developing resilience. They have the capability to reach out to their members or others in the community who may be seeking help. Most faith communities offer some sort of counseling or advising services which can be utilized to aid its members. Unfortunately, I do not know if all faith communities have programs set up specifically for developing resilience and empowerment. I know that there are groups that provide support for specific aspects of life, such as divorce or funerals, but not the broader subjects of resilience and empowerment. However, in these specific areas of a person's life is when resilience and empowerment are needed the most. Faith communities could offer support and a social network for people who are suffering and help them to see that not all is lost and that they can overcome such challenges in life. Part of resilience is about getting connected and keeping a positive outlook. Faith communities typically have volunteer programs and charities available that could provide a person with both. By doing charitable deeds a person can feel like they are making a difference and making every day count. Another main aspect of faith communities is hope and faith in general. It is important to remain hopeful about unfortunate circumstances and this is what faith communities are based on. By becoming involved in these and other community activities a person can develop self-confidence in their own abilities and that can be empowering. It all starts with the person, and I think that if a person reaches out to a faith community they will be openly embraced.
Faith communities can establish an important role to the community by empowering their members and developing resilience by keeping their higher power close, prevention, and promoting great health. Faith communities can direct real change when it comes to their members and developing resilience. Having a focus on the community may promote "the greater good" and give a voice for those struggling with their troubled past.
I think it is important to keep a person's higher power close to their heart because it is something they deeply believe in. It is no different from believing in yourself to achieve your goals. Faith community members are examples about how to incorporate God in their lives. When times get tough, a person will pray for a better tomorrow. It's crucial to share amongst the community in order to promote a spiritual coping style and leadership. Finding a spiritual coping mechanism can possibly develop resilience.
Prevention is one key factor that can also help develop resilience. For some individuals it may be more difficult to not fall under bad influences or bad habits. Faith communities represent a positive mentor for many people which should aid them in making essential life decisions. This may include some physical and psychological coping mechanism skills. For example, being able to reach out to others for support is a key component of resilience. Moreover, there are ways to prevent resilience that faith communities can contribute with.
It was mentioned that resilience offers protection from various mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety (Mayo Clinic staff, 2011). To illustrate, lack of social support can increase the probability of a person's mental health condition. A person can psychologically decrease the probability by learning to cope through exposure and adapting to the environment. It would be nice if the person could identify key issues or dynamics and understand how the system has change through time to see the result in the future by assessing them. In addition, doing so can encourage faith communities to empower their members to want more for themselves in life.
There are three components I found interesting to develop resilience which are withstand a stock without losing its basic functions, adapt to changing circumstance, and transform to a different way of life. This is a process that engages in stakeholders. The community can work at being the first responders, get involved, and prepared. For example, a person can assist in crisis planning for schools or participant in community programs for build coping skills. Also, one can provide media interviews on these topics with a focus on children and families. Furthermore, become a sponsor, support, and participant to increase the knowledge and spread information about developing resilience.
There are so many ways that faith communities can empower their members and develop resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adverse conditions or events. As the textbook and the video we watched talked about, protective factors are key to building resilience. All adversity cannot be removed from a person's life but adding protective factors can greatly aid in resilience. Applying the concepts of the Resiliency Wheel (from the How Resiliency Happens video) I will talk about many things that faith based communities can to do empower their members and the community.
First is offer caring and support. When a faith community takes the time to listen to the members of the community they can get a better understanding of what the members needs and concerns are. Once a need is realized it is up to the community to implement ways of helping ease the problem and also help the individuals to cope with it before it becomes a greater problem. Also, if a concern is brought up by an individual or the community they can talk about ways to help and offer assistance to the members.
Next is to express certainty that the person or persons can cope with the situation or concern. This is of up most importance because as representatives of God (or any type of deity) the words of a pastor, bishop, or any type of evangelical leader can carry great meaning to a person of faith. If a person in a faith community is told that God (or any type of deity) is confident in their ability to get through something that is a magnificent avenue for resilience to be developed in the person.
Another way that faith based communities can empower their members and develop resilience is to have opportunities for the members to participate in a number of activities. A culture of resiliency is created when members of a faith based community are active participants and take responsibility for making decisions, planning, evaluating, and implementing projects.
Another extremely important element is prosocial bonding. Faith communities may very well be the best place for individuals to engage in prosocial bonding. Faith communities can provide activities and events for members and community members to participate in together. This gives people the opportunity to forge new relationships, interact with like minded individuals, and give the person a sense of purpose. With Deity as the focal point of conversations and interactions it becomes easier to bond to others. It is the responsibility of the community to aid individuals that are having difficulties in this bonding and bring the community closer. This is also made easier by the fact that faith communities meet often for worship. This is a perfect time for bonding among members and also to disseminate information about future events that will aid in the bonding process.
Lastly teaching life skills is extremely important. Faith communities can teach people who are no longer in school life skills they need to be resilient. Far too many adults never fully grasped the needed life skills in childhood. Yet, with a faith community they have the opportunity to learn those things through sermons and events and also from other community members. Again it is up to the community to recognize the need to teach life skills to the members and implement a plan to do so.
Another thing faith communities do is provide a forum for discussing personal matters. A person has the opportunity to confess sins to another person of faith and discuss them. They are not forced to deal with the guilt that comes along with sin. It is the responsibility of the faith community to refrain from judgment and offer help to the person. This does not only include sin. Members of a faith community can talk about stressful events such as lost loved ones, divorce or unruly children.
Resiliency is, in basic terms, the ability to bounce back from adversity. Specifically, it consists of three properties: the ability to withstand shock, adapt to the situation and to transform when the current way can no longer be carried out. Many people are concerned with resiliency, including social workers and parents. When a stressful situation occurs, it is important to be able to move on from the incident and "get over it."
In addition to social workers and parents being involved in resiliency, faith communities also can hold in important role in fostering resilience in their members. There are multiple ways in which this can be done; to begin is the concept of faith itself. Faith is basically trusting that when something goes wrong, that "God will fix it." There is often the belief that everything will be all right because it must be part of the plan. Giving up some of the stress of trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it can be an advantage to those in faith communities.
Second, faith communities can offer events that help build their community member's skills in resiliency. This might include workshops where a counselor is brought in to speak on how to deal with stress or unpleasant events. Or, perhaps just support groups that can help foster the community ties that are already in place within a faith community. The faith community can become the support system for its members.
Third, in addition to workshops and such, many faith communities can (and some already do) offer a variety of services. This might include domestic abuse counseling, family counseling, and just general life guidance from the minister. My faith community takes part in what is called "Called to Protect," which is a program to protect children from the dangers of the world. While it is heavily influenced by Catholic views, it still provides means of creating resiliency.
Finally, faith communities could help aid those who have already experience a traumatic event and inject some "protective factors." This could mean simply caring for someone who has had a tough time. Most importantly, however, is the fact that these faith communities need to start within their own community and then move outwards to others. While I believe that faith communities have a responsibility to help those outside of their specific communities, I also believe that a system needs to be refined first. This could be done through a system much like participatory research where those in need help those who are helping solve the problem!
There are many ways faith communities can play a role in empowering their members and developing resilience. Some ways for example, are introducing the wheel of resilience to all of their community's members. There are six factors to the resilience wheel which means there are six ways that faith communities can empower their members. The six factors are high expectations, meaningful participation, pro social bonding, clear and consistent boundaries, life skills, and most importantly caring and support.
The first factor is high expectations. High expectations are when you set and communicate realistic and high expectations for children. Faith communities can help with this, because while they are doing community projects and things like that, they can reassure these children that things are expected of them, and by doing this and by setting goals, the children have something to work towards. This can also work for the members of the community by setting realistic goals such as realizing that they will not be able to help everyone in the world, but that there are expectations of them to help the people they can with the time they are given here on earth.
The second factor is meaningful participation. Meaningful participation can be used by faith communities by allowing people they are helping to help in the things the faith community does. The faith community only needs to provide the opportunity for these kids or whomever to help, to learn, or to plan their own projects. This can be implemented in the faith communities by giving all of the people in the community the chance to plan something rather than one single person "taking the reins" or leading the group with everything the community does.
The third factor is pro social bonding. Pro social bonding is providing positive social outlets. For example, a faith community may help children with this aspect by creating an after school program that allows for children to stay off the streets and to be a part of a learning experience that they might not have been a part of originally.
The fourth factor is clear and consistent boundaries. Clear and consistent boundaries are when you are clear and fair with implementing rules and boundaries for people. For example, faith communities may use this factor by making sure they treat each child or person the same when helping. They need to make sure that they are not favoring one child, while punishing the other children more severely. This factor can be implemented in the faith community itself by making sure all of the members are treated the same across all fields. To sufficiently use this factor to the highest potential, one would not want to treat one member of the faith community more or less harshly regarding rules.
The fifth factor of the resilience wheel is life skills. Life skills pretty much speak for themselves, and they are when you teach someone the life skills that they will need throughout life. For example, a faith community would teach life skills by teaching children and people they are helping all about conflict and resolution. The faith community would also want to teach the people they help about all the things that could happen to them in life such as natural disasters, death, divorce, and things of that nature. Not only would they want to teach them about these things happening, but they would also want to teach those ways to cope and deal with these things happening. As far as teaching life skills, the idea would be used almost the same exact way when teaching the faith community itself life skills.
The sixth factor is the most important factor and is caring and support. This factor out of all the six factors speaks for itself the most. In both the needy and the faith communities helping, caring and support is crucial. People need to know that they have someone who cares about them, and supports them, because without that, there may be no reason for people to live their lives in the first place. Caring and support is such a big factor also, because humans are social beings, and one thing we cannot live without is other people, and creating these social bonds help us to live more efficiently and to develop resilience.
There are many different ways that faith communities can be empowered and develop resilience, but this is just one way that seemed to touch base on many different and efficient ways that will successfully develop resilience within the faith community and others.
Faith based communities are social networks created to support its members and create resilience within the group. With a leader and a supporting congregation the individuals involved can feel that they are not alone, therefore they are more likely to fight off mental health issues of depression, anxiety, ect. Also, due to the higher mental state they are also more likely to fend off physical aliments as well.
Faith based communities also provide an array of services that can assist its members as well. Through privatized counseling, food banks, shelters, Salvation Army, and places like Goodwill; these faith based communities can help provide the basics for the standard living of their less fortunate members. During times of tragedy the communties gather food, money, or any supplies necessary to assist those in need. By becoming involved in the lives of its members faith based communities provide more than assistance and create an environment of resilience that a typical person could not achieve alone.
To me, empowerment and resiliency are positively correlated: increasing a person's sense of power and control over his/her life simultaneously increases that person's resilience to present and/or future troubles. Faith communities can play an important role in the development of individual empowerment and resilience. To illustrate this, I will use the Resiliency Wheel developed by Nan Henderson, M.S.W. Serving as the foundation for the principles and actions of the Resiliency Wheel is caring and support. Faith communities, by virtue of being a potential or actual source for social networking, can provide much caring and support to their members. This may come naturally from the teachings of the specific faith community's religion, or from a strong sense of community among members that socializes them to reach out and take care of one another. When members feel and know that there is someone there to listen to their concerns and problems, the influence of risk factors to various physical/mental health problems is diminished. Faith communities may also set and communicate high expectations to their members, which can also serve to empower individuals to share power and control over their environment. Setting high expectations for positive coping strategies (praying or reading scripture, for example) and the belief that individual members, and by extension, the entire community can overcome difficulties and traumatic situations builds resiliency. It allows people to know that they can succeed and that others believe in their ability to succeed.
Closely related to this concept of setting high expectations is the notion of providing opportunities for meaningful participation. Throughout the semester we have discussed how faith communities are intricately involved in social action and movements toward social justice and liberation from oppression. Faith communities help to increase the protective factors and resiliency both at the personal and collective levels by offering services to those at most risk for developing health complications. Though these services may be reactive interventions to existing problems, it still gives members the opportunity to help alleviate suffering and pain in the community (apart from one's faith). This can serve to increase that person's sense of competence and purpose, which is very empowering. Related to this idea of creating purpose through meaningful participation is increasing pro-social bonding. Of course there will be bonding among members of a faith community, but bonding can also occur outside of this community in other settings that provide members with opportunities for social mastery, such as in school. When people know that they can successfully navigate social situations, they are empowered and much more resilient to stressful social dilemmas that may incur risks to well-being.
Faith communities can also empower and build resiliency in their members by setting clear and consistent boundaries. This can come in the form of having a routine schedule that dictates when, why, and for how long members are to meet. Faith communities also teach their members what is acceptable behavior and what will not be tolerated. These rules and guidelines are important and useful because people need and benefit from having their expectations of what is supposed to happen met. (Certainly, unpredictable and unorganized communities are a risk themselves). Finally, faith communities can teach "life-skills," which has been lightly touched upon previously in the discussion on boundaries and providing care and support. Faith communities can teach their members how to effectively listen, how to appropriately manage conflict, and to set goals that can be reached. By cultivating these skills, people also increase the control they have over their lives.
I would like to briefly comment on the idea of finding a balance between individual empowerment and a sense of community. It is important for people to not become objects of their community, conforming mindlessly or coercively and being stripped of their individuality. However, it is equally important for people to not empower themselves too much and begin to dominate or bully others. There must be a balance of power between the individual and the community: neither entity can have too much or too little power. I believe faith communities can potentially put their members at risk for developing behavioral and psychological problems by stripping them of their autonomy and responsibility, and placing it solely on their "Savior's Hands." Though many things are out of our control, unpredictable, and unchangeable-they are literally in the hands of a higher power, whatever it may be-it should not distract us from the things we do have control over, the things we can change. I believe it is crucial for not only faith communities, but all communities, to make this distinction between circumstances that are out of our control and those that are not. Though it may not always be easy to draw the line, being aware of our personal empowerment and our connection with others can lead to appropriate action during life's most daunting moments.
I think that faith communities can contribute a great deal to empowering their members and creating resilience. This is a great to create and encourage resilience because, as with other social improvements, a great way to start is to reach a large group at one time and within that group there should be a good amount of youth involved. The idea of resiliency is directed at the youth, as we must create children who bounce back in order to have adults that will bounce back from trials and tribulations. I believe the adults of the faith community must be educated on the resiliency wheel and understand that the children in their lives should be in the middle of that ring from the time they are born. The children should not and will not know anything of the resiliency plan or wheel, it will be a way a life, a manner in which they were raised and they will naturally learn and grow to be resilient.
The faith community should break down the wheel piece by piece and talk about ways to encourage each of these pieces in the youth. The first one is the start of the wheel, the most important component (other than the child); providing care and support. Since birth a baby needs to be cared for and supported. They need their basic needs fulfilled of course, but also need their emotional needs fulfilled. They need to feel loved by their parents and need to trust that their parents are there for them, to love them and support them through all walks of life. A great foundation for resiliency is the security of unconditional love. Most faith communities encourage this anyway; love, acceptance, the act of caring for one another through good times and in bad. They simply need to show this to their youth, and encourage their youth to do the same for their elders, and for their peers as well. The second piece of the wheel is to set and communicate high and realistic expectations. This is also something faith communities do regularly as well. In my faith community there are goals set for charity work (number of hours, or amount of money raised) and also goals set for our behavior and commitment to our faith. This is something that can be taught to the youth by explaining to them the goals that the faith community as a whole is working on and then giving them smaller more realistic goals for their age group that will help the group reach their goal. The setting and completion of goals should also be encouraged at home too, with school work and house chores. Goals should be discussed and agreed upon by all involved, and then rewarded upon completion. The next step on the wheel is providing opportunities for meaningful participation, this goes hand in hand with the second step. The youth should be involved in setting goals, and strategies of how to accomplish them. They should feel as though they are participating in something good, not just being instructed to do something by their parents. The faith community can help in this by making the kids feel like they are an important part of the community and in fact, they are the future of the community. Therefor their participation and input is not only needed but wanted. The fourth step in the wheel is increased bonding or connectedness which is basically introducing and encouraging more communal relationships rather than individualistic views. This is done by most faith communities, as mine encourages working together, getting to know each other, and helping thy neighbor. If children see this encouraged at church and at home they too will adopt this way of thinking. They should be taught that the sum of all parts is just as important, if not more important than each individual part. The fifth piece of the wheel is set clear and consistent boundaries. This goes hand in hand with the second and third steps of the wheel. When goals are set and discussed so should boundaries. The children should be involved in setting these boundaries and they should understand why they are set where they are. They should also understand why it is harmful to cross these boundaries and what the consequences of crossing these boundaries are. The faith community helps in this aspect by enforcing common values and morals such as being honest, respecting each other, and not harming on another. If the youth see their parents adhering to these boundaries they are likely to learn by example and strive to adhere to them, and their own boundaries as well. The sixth and final step in the wheel is teaching life skills, teaching children how to cope and deal with problems of everyday life. They need to learn to go work with others and how to solve conflicts if they arise. The faith community can help with this by working together and getting along with each other. They should encourage this type of behavior amongst its members in the group as a whole and also within the smaller groups like the families.
The faith community can make every child resilient if they follow the resilience wheel and lead in a way that the children should follow.
In my opinion, I think faith communities can have a significant impact in empowering their members and also helping them develop resilience in the face of adversity. Faith communities help empower people by getting their members to come together to achieve a common goal and to get them to be actively involved within their community. Participation can include organizing religious events, volunteering for church services, helping out in the community (such as food and clothing drives), etc. According to the table in the textbook, engaging in organizations can lead people to have positive outcomes, such as improved quality of life and enhanced well-being (Nelson & Prilleltensky, 2009). A majority of the time, it takes a small group to empower members in a community to become involved in the betterment of the community. Faith communities can help members to do this.
In order for an individual to become resilient, he/she needs to have protective factors. It can be beneficial for members of faith based communities because one of their protective factors can be religious coping. According to the video clip, protective factors are defined as "qualities within an individual and environmental support that help an individual bounce back from adversity" (Henderson, 2008). When individuals have a close connection to religion and feel they have a strong spiritual connection, they can feel the power to overcome anything; they feel like they need to try their best and when they cannot do anymore, they have to give the rest to God or their higher divine. According to the resiliency wheel, there are six parts that make up the wheel, which include: caring and support; setting and communicating high expectations; providing opportunities for meaningful participation; increasing prosocial bonding; setting clear and consistent boundaries; and teaching life skills (Henderson, 2008). Faith based communities embody all six of these characteristics. First off, they provide caring and support to its members by opening their doors to all individuals, including those who are marginalized. Faith communities offer counseling and other services for people in times of need, such as by providing food and shelter. Secondly, faith based communities set high expectations of their members, expecting them to always do the right thing, such as helping out those who are less fortunate and praying for the sick, the homeless, and the troubled. Faith communities also provide many opportunities for participation by actively engaging their members in church services and organizations and helping them to get involved in other community services, such as volunteering at the local food pantry. These communities also increase prosocial bonding by getting numerous individuals involved and working together to achieve a common goal. Furthermore, many faith based communities set boundaries, particularly the rules that associate with being part of that religious group. Such rules might include "no sex before marriage" and/or some faith communities might ask members to volunteer a certain number of hours a week. Lastly, faith communities teach their members life skills, such as helping those who are in need, socializing with other individuals, etc. When an individual faces adversity, if he/she has developed strong protective factors, such as the resiliency wheel, and a strong support system, such as his/her religious community, he/she will be able to bounce back from resiliency and will be able to thrive in life because of this.
Henderson, N. (2008). How resiliency happens [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYbDfm8ZEs4
Nelson, G., & Prilleltensky I. (2009). Community psychology: In pursuit of liberation and well being (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
I believe there are many different ways in which faith communities can empower the community, and also promote resilience. Faith communities generally offer some type of counseling, or department within the faith community that individuals can turn to for help or advice. Through counseling and helping individuals in need, faith communities can empower individuals to take part in the community. Faith communities also generally offer different types of aid within the community such as food banks, employment help, adoption centers, and the like. These types of outreach programs within the community are strong tools in empowering people within the community to help one another, and to do well for the greater good of the whole community.
In video one of this week, resilience was defined as, "the answer to the question: how can things change and persist at the same time?". Through three different aspects, resilience is able to answer this question. The first property of resilience is its ability to not lose its basic function when it's faced with withstanding shock. The second property of resilience is its capability to adapt to changing circumstances. Lastly in resilience, transformation can occur to a different way of life when the present way is not practicable any more. I believe that faith communities are able to help with these three characteristics of resilience within a community to promote resilience. First off, I think the belief of a faith within faith communities is one way that resilience is promoted. Many religions believe in a higher power and instill a belief in faith with the mindset that 'everything happens for a reason'. With this type of mindset, I believe more people are likely to adapt to and embrace change with the thought that there is a reason for its occurrence.
Faith communities also have the resources and voice to organize different community meetings or programs to teach those within the community how to adapt to change in the community. These types of programs can also teach individuals how to feel empowered, and how to use their own personal strengths to affect change in the community. Through these activities and through the practices of faith communities, strong bonds within the community can be created so that people feel comfortable within the community to vocalize their thoughts and add to different perspectives, which in turn can create empowerment. Within this type of setting participation, collaboration, and discussion is opened which can be a way for thoughts to be expressed on how to create a resilient community.
In one video for this week, six aspects of a resilience wheel were discussed that were important in the creation of resilience. These six aspects are: high expectations, meaningful participation, pro social bonding, clear and consistent boundaries, life skills, and caring and support. I think with the ideas I have illustrated above, faith communities are proactive in four of these areas: meaningful participation, prosocial bonding, clear and consistent boundaries, life skills, and caring and support. In one of the videos for this week, caring and support was illustrated as the most important aspect, which I definitely believe faith communities promote. Faith communities provide a place for people to turn to in times of need, and create an environment of caring and support for those within the community who are feeling a lack of empowerment. I believe that through empowering individuals within a community, faith communities can help create an overall empowered society that is able to embrace and adapt to change.
In my opinion Faith Based Communities can play a significant role in the empowerment and resilience process of its members. Empowerment is a big part of life that faith based communities play a role in and especially with their youth. In the church that I went to when I was young had the largest Youth group I could imagine and that group was all about empowering our lives and providing us with key resources for our lives. We always had someone to go to and somewhere to go if we were in need. It wasn't always about giving the help to us it was teaching us how to help ourselves and others in our positions. They are also key in building up resilience to protect its members.
Faith communities also provide empowerment and resilience to adults as well. Faith communities are there to lend a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, and a supportive backbone when it is time to bounce back from something. They provide various support groups, one on one counseling, and further assistance when needed. They are there to always have ones back but to also push them to their greatness. Their sense of a higher power gives this to them. They do all of it because they believe and they cherish their higher power.
Faith communities play a vital role in empowering their members by making them feel as though they are not just another face in the crowd but a person with thoughts, feelings, and a voice. Members of a faith community, although they might not realize it, rely heavily on their community to give them this power to realize they have a voice and they can use that voice to help others within the community as well as outside the community. Faith communities can achieve this by simple tasks such as remembering families names, following up with families in times of need as well as bigger tasks such as asking for volunteers to help families within the community who might be struggling; tasks that help every individual feel as if they, as a single person, have the power to create and solidify change. Once the community helps every individual feel empowered, feel as if they are a special and unique person who is needed to help the community and its resilience, this will cause a domino effect and in turn strengthen and empower the community as a whole.
I believe that the community cannot have a strong resilience until all of their members feel empowered. These two factors rely heavily on one another in which one cannot exist entirely without the other. Every individual has to understand that they are needed for the creation of the resilience within the community; they have to know their voice means something and is not just white noise. Everyone's voice coming together in support of solutions and identifying problems increases the resilience of the community as a whole because it is the basic action of agreement that solidifies the community resilience. Even if the agreement is on a small level at first, it is a step in the right direction for bigger steps in the future. The faith community can achieve this by instilling in the minds of its members the importance of both resilience and togetherness and how they are codependent of one another. This basic education of these two topics can easily start the empowerment process of the community members. The faith community acts as a mentor to all of its members in teaching them the importance of resilience, teaching them that its foundation is its members and they hold all the power to create positive changes in the lives of the community members as well as other, outside communities.
As described in one of the videos for this week, there are three different aspects to resilience. These aspects are the ability to withstand shock without losing basic function, the ability to adapt to changes, and the ability to transform to a different way of life when the current way is no longer sustainable. Put in simple terms, resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Faith communities can empower individuals and help to develop resilience through the services that they offer and the programs that they conduct in the community. The ways that faith communities can help to empower member and develop resilience can be tied to different parts of the resiliency wheel discussed in the video "How Resiliency Happens".
The first thing that faith communities can do in order to develop resiliency among its members is to provide caring and support. Faith communities must listen to the problems and concerns of their members in order to develop counseling programs and support groups to address these problems. For example, a faith community can set up a counseling service for members that have suffered abuse or a support system to help younger members deal with stress. By doing this, faith communities can help to ensure the emotional and physical heath of their members (something that is necessary for empowerment). Counseling programs and support groups would also offer and opportunity for the faith community to teach the life skills necessary for individuals to stand firm in the face of adversity.
Faith communities can also provide opportunities for meaningful participation. By allowing members to participate in different activities and programs (such as food drives, clothing drives, community clean-up programs, etc.), faith communities give their members a chance to feel as though they are truly making a difference in the community. This can provide members with confidence and help to develop other skills needed for resilience. This also provides members with an opportunity for pro-social bonding, meaning that members can work together to develop a sense of purpose and strength. Put simply, faith communities have the ability to provide positive social experiences that support the development of resilience.
Another thing that faith communities can do to foster resilience in its members is to set high expectations. These expectations can be communicated by setting high standards for the programs that a faith community conducts (and for the individuals who participate in these programs) and through the teaching of values and morals that are at the base of most faith communities. The teachings of faith communities also provide members with a set of clear boundaries that is necessary for resilience to occur.
As many of the articles we read have stated, faith communities can play a vital role in creating resilience among members of their congregation. The most important thing to have when you are creating resilience in a community is a support system to back you up when you need it most. If you feel as though you have no one to lean on if disaster strikes then you will never be able to cope with your losses as well as someone who does have that support. For example, if there is a shooting at a high school, the witnesses will likely be traumatized. However, those who have people they can talk to about their stresses, can seek emotional support from and have a reliable shoulder to cry on, will most likely grieve for an extended period and then grow from their experience. If you had to hold that entire burden inside you with no one to lean on then you will probably not adapt as well and continue to focus on your own trauma. The main focus of a faith community is to reach out to one another through faith in order to become closer to each other and a higher power. When I was 15 I went to a tiny church in Thayer, Kansas, and was absolutely amazed at what I saw. People would come to the front of the church and share their pains and cry and others would reach out to them, comfort them, and pray with them. I had never seen the kind of love and devotion people had for their community before and how they were essentially one large family celebrating and mourning losses as one. This is why I know faith communities help to bring resilience to neighborhoods. It's about sharing a burden and helping people to carry a load so that everyone can benefit in the long run. Churches create many programs that allow them to reach out to their community and thus establish resilience. There are support groups for people going through divorce and addiction, bereavement and even financial difficulties. These groups help establish new lives for those in need by giving them the necessary tools to move on from their problem and live their lives healthier and happier. Teaching, besides support, is the main subject matter of these groups. They reach out and give their members knowledge of how to cope with their problems thus giving them resilience they could take with them long after they leave. This type of resilience creates empowerment among the faith community and members. When people have this strong support standing behind them, knowing that their voice matters and actually means something within their community, they in turn feel as though they can handle any problem that comes their way. They are able to not only face new challenges but to overcome many of the obstacles that otherwise would be impossible if they did not have their community to fall back on.
Faith communities can play a large role in empowering their members and developing resilience. So much of resilience comes not from the absence of stresses surrounding someone in their lives, but from how they deal with adversity. Faith communities can bring about many of the protective factors that were discussed by one of the women in one of the videos. First and foremost, faith communities can provide the care and support that is so vital for resilience. Just by being around a group of people who share common goals and values, and who accept anyone from all walks of life into their support group can really help with this. The other protective factors grow out of this caring and supporting environment, providing those in need with a genuine and loving atmosphere. Faith communities already have the foundation for these factors laid out in their makeup.
Faith communities can empower individuals by giving them a place to meet and by teaching them the life skills that are necessary to overcome the obstacles that they face. Pairing life skills training with high expectations and lots of care and support are factors that can help people overcome event he most adverse of situations. As the video says, this can insulate the impact of the negative events going on in someone's life. Interacting with other people and learning how to gain the upper hand even in times of dispair are taught easily through groups such as faith communities. High expectations and letting people know that you think more of them and know that they can achieve lots really changes the overall tone of how people deal with adversity.
Lots of developing resilience and empowerment can be achieved by beginning long before they are really needed. Faith communities can establish these early on, and so when there are major stresses that intrude into someone's life, they are already equipped to take care of them. By being proactive people can eliminate assorted stressors, as well as boost their confidence for when times are tough.
Learning from past experience and getting connected are two more ways that faith communities can improve resilience. By connecting with others within the community, one can learn a lot from other people's misfortunes and the way that they have handled situations. Even if you haven't experienced an event yourself, there is usually someone within the community that has gone through it or who has direct experience with it, and getting connected with these people can prepare you for that same event happening to you.
Faith communities, in my opinion, are one of the most important outlets for promoting resilience within communities. Faith communities are able to promote respect and understanding towards other faiths, provide counseling in many different areas of tragedies and organize volunteer efforts in educating the impoverished areas about resources that are available to them in times of need.
Faith communities have an amazing advantage when it comes to encouraging their members to have a more respectful and wider understanding of other faiths or cultural communities in the area. As a leader in a faith community, you have the ability to give sermons in front of your congregation, whether it be a few dozen or a few thousand people, and in these sermons the leaders are able to spread the word of acceptance of helping your fellow man. Showing this infallible characteristic will only inspire other members of the congregation to become involved and help others need. With this advocacy of acceptance of one's fellow man, resiliency will become strengthened within the community because stronger support systems and places of comfort and safety will be more dominant within the larger communities.
I find the counseling sector of faith communities to be the most rewarding area of promoting resilience. One on one counseling sessions with the leader, or appointed facilitator, of your faith community gives the opportunity for the person in need to learn first hand coping mechanisms for their specific tragedy or risk factor occurring in their life. I also feel that faith communities providing group counseling for grief, drug addiction, domestic violence, etc. are essential in helping people learn resilience within their lives. Group counseling provides a very productive open forum format, in which members can openly talk (without fear of judgement) about their problems. This open forum also allows for other members to reach out and share ways that have helped them gain resilience with those who are struggling with gaining control of their life.
In implementing this counseling techniques, I do feel as though the faith leaders, or whomever is appointed in leading the counseling, to have taken multiple classes in counseling techniques and how to provide support on multiple levels. Classes in resiliency would also be essential for the ones providing support.
Another important factor in faith communities being crucial in applying resiliency techniques is to organize a group of volunteers who would go into destitute communities and handing out information on a variety of issues that might not be readily available to those within the community. Specifically, handing out information of disaster relief, domestic violence shelters, food banks, drug addiction rehabilitation services, etc. Having members of the congregation participate in disseminating this information not only educates people, but it physically shows them that there is a support system out there and there are people who want nothing more than to help.
A faith community can have a large impact on the building of resilience within members and promoting the idea to others. Resilience is that amount of strength a person has to resist adverse situations in a person's life based on their environment. Faith communities can change the persistent problems people face on a daily basis by empowering individuals. There are three components of resilience that can be shown by anyone with this characteristic. The first property is the ability to resist shock when a negative event can occur without losing basic functions. The second property is the system can adapt to negative processes to cope with the situation. The third property is the resilience system can transform the current lifestyle when things have become too difficult. These properties combined with the individual environmental protective factors outline the system of resilience in a person. Faith communities can build resilience using the six section wheel of resilience by increasing protective factors as shown in the videos.
The first area of the wheel of resilience is the caring and support a person has. Faith communities are always there to support anyone through their many open door policies, not just for members of their faith. Pastors and directors of these programs are essential to speaking and counseling with those who are struggling in life by showing support. Communicating the negative situations and explaining how strong that person is during these times can make them realize their courage. The message of main faith based communities is to spread their morals of helpfulness, a perfect opportunity to show others through the support of listening. Many people seeking help lack social support systems, an outlet of this type shows people that someone actually cares for their well-being.
The second area of the wheel is the setting and communication of high expectations. Faith communities definitely have an influence especially on children to empower them to reach high goals. Using the programs to speak to people, they can ask participants to dream of going to college as a means to motivate them. Many people can become disenchanted, believing that they are unable to reach their goals. If a goal is not set, and the path to the goal has not been communicated, there is not direction to follow as a person who is struggling.
The third area of the resilience wheel is to provide opportunities for meaningful participation. A person without an outlet for their time or cannot release the need to participate. Faith communities can use their programs to give people a sense of importance in the people around them. Working with others also can create bonds which lead to social protective factors when problems arise. With positions, people can feel like they are an integral part of their community with the ability to plan and influence the programs.
The fourth area of the wheel of resilience is increase a person's prosocial bonding. A need of any person is the sense of connection to society which many people who are struggling have lost sight of. Faith communities can use their programs to include people in the community while socializing them with neighbors of the area. By including people in the programs, socializing will occur during work and friendships can be made. This is an especially important part of protective factors that are need for resilience. Creating an outlet for people to communicate their problems with others going through similar problems is one of the best ways understand and plan to deal with problems Faith communities often meet at least once a week, giving people many opportunities to meet other members.
The fifth portion of the resilience wheel is to set clear and consistent boundaries. Faith communities can imply their morals and ways of life into those who need help. Religious leaders can serve as the instructor for teaching such values and what is not to be expected or tolerated in the community. Some people need to realize that their behavior is not leading them to flourish in the ways they would like them to. Faith communities can point out needed boundaries by aiding people in seeing what in their environment is not allowing them to succeed.
The sixth and final portion of the resilience wheel is to teach life skills. Faith communities have many ways of spreading moral messages of proper living and living to your full potential. The idea of these programs used by faith communities is to make a lifelong impact on a person by having them examine current skills for life and how to improve them. In a counseling realm, faith communities preach on how to resist the temptation to do wrong and how to stay on the right path. Many of these communities offer programs to employ members or counseling service to teach people how to cope with their problems in a healthy way. This portion of the wheel is the most important because it promotes a lifelong change in a person that will persist after intervention.
The combination of factors that are implemented when using the wheel of resilience provides protective factors. Individual protective factors are gained by teaching life skills which can be used when intervention stops and the promotion of setting high goals to achieve in life. Environmental protective factors can be found in the prosocial abilities of faith communities and the empowerment of serving your community for a greater cause.
Faith communities are very capable of empowering their members and developing resilience. Their ability to empower and develop resilience is linked to how much sense of community a faith community fosters, the power of the faith community to secure rights, services and resources, and how well the faith community can change and adapt. Faith communities are also very effective with providing care and support to community members, which is an important factor in resilience.
Because "power is a combination of ability and opportunity" (Nelson, p 121), for a faith community to empower its members it needs to enhance ability, increase opportunity, and match the abilities of its members with appropriate opportunities. A faith community can be especially adept at this process because it often has access to a lot of social capital (the resource of connections among people). These networks can strengthen community members. Faith communities can build social capital among members and empower them through it. By increasing social capital and building networks among people with access to various resources, it empowers people to work together to achieve goals and gain better control over their lives through their connections within the community.
Faith communities also develop resilience both for the community and for individual members; however, some faith communities are more effective with this than others. According to Professor Stephen Carpenter (University of Wisconsin) resilience has three properties: the ability to withstand shock without losing basic functions, the adaptation to changing circumstances, and the ability to transform to a different way of life when the current way of life is no longer feasible.
The ability to withstand shock without losing basic functions is important both for the community and the individuals within it. Faith communities that can't withstand shock diminish and usually disperse. Individuals within those communities that can't withstand shock often suffer debilitating effects in their lives and cease to contribute to the liberation and well-being of others. A faith community, and its individual members, can withstand shock when members of the community who are not affected by the shock support the part of the collective that is by offering resources and aid. In the case of AIDS (with AIDS being a shock to the community), this is being done by members of faith communities in countries such as the US funding and working programs that are combating AIDS in more severely affected regions of the communities such as Africa. When regions that are less affected aid and support regions more severely affected, the system can recover from the shock without losing basic functions.
Whether a faith community adapts of changing circumstances or not often determines whether the faith community will last or deteriorate. This is why some very traditional faith communities are at risk for decline, if they do not change to adapt to the circumstances of the situations and the needs of their members. Likewise for individuals within the community, their ability to adapt to changing circumstances has a significant impact on their well-being and their ability to contribute to the community. The faith community can help its members to adapt through ongoing education and research of the dynamics in the community. It can also help members by providing support and resources for the changes members need to adapt to, rather than trying to shelter or isolate members from the changes. Some faith communities try too hard to isolate members from changing circumstances (which circumstances are usually outside the control of the faith community and can overwhelm it), and this is not nearly as effective as when faith communities work to enable and enhance members' abilities to change to meet the circumstances in a new way.
Faith communities and their individual members must also be able to transform to a different way of life when the current way of life is no longer feasible. This has been seen in respect to faith communities for a long time in peace movements, changes within the community, pilgrimages, etc. A faith community can be a powerful support for transforming the lives of individual members. We see this in community projects like Andre's House where people who are in dire circumstances of poverty (a current way of life that becomes unfeasible) are aided to make changes and better their lives. In the case of AIDS, we can see how faith communities develop resilience by educating people about AIDS prevention and treatment so that current circumstances can be transformed.
Faith communities can be very effective at empowering members and developing resilience, but for this to happen the faith community need to engage the disadvantaged people who are being affected and also those who have applicable resources. They need to enhance cooperation between these people to identify the dynamics of the community system and prevent and respond to needs of the members of the community.
Nelson, G., & Prilleltensky I. (2009). Community psychology: In pursuit of liberation and well being (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Carpenter, S. (2008). What is resilience? [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msiIV5NdLVs&feature=player_embedded
Empowering members should be one of the main goals of faith communities. Faith communities can empower their members by giving them the ability to have a voice within their community. It's important to feel that you have an opinion in the community that you are a part of. This is especially important for faith communities because many people devote a lot of their life to faith communities. Devoting your life to a faith community means you should expect to have a voice and to feel as if you have an opinion. Faith communities also empower their members by giving them a belief system if they feel they need one. Faith communities give their members the opportunity to live their lives the way they feel fit and feel comfortable doing. Faith communities are built on empowering their members. Someone had a belief and there were others who also had those same beliefs so they began to form a community and share their ideas and beliefs. This kind of community grows and grows and give it's members the feeling of empowerment and can also develop resilience in the members.
Faith communities develop resilience because they are communities that have needed to learn resilience. Resilience means being able to overcome easily and keep fighting for what you believe in. This is what faith communities are built on. Having members that are resilient and that are empowered is the point of faith communities. Resilience is developed by faith communities by giving them beliefs that will allow them to overcome a lot. Giving them the belief system that there is something greater then them that they need to uphold. Resilience is developed by faith communities by being diverse (1). This helps everyone who is a part of the faith community by giving them more options and information about different cultures. Diversity can only make you stronger and certainly helps faith communities to become even stronger then they already are. The elements of resilience are connectedness, commitment and shared values (1). This shows that faith communities really do try to develop resilience because these are three things that really should sum up a faith community. Members of a community want to feel that connectedness, want to feel committed to their community and also want other members that they can share values with.
Giving members of a faith community the skills to develop resilience makes them feel empowered. Resilience and empowerment are intertwined and should come hand in hand. Faith communities give both of these to their members as long as they have a support system and a belief system that they can agree with and feel good about. This should always be the key to faith communities and if you want members to be a part of your faith community you must make sure you give them these supports.
Building Community Resilience for Children and Families
By the definition of resiliency, it is something that faith communities believe in as a principal. Turn the other cheek, to have faith in what you cannot see regardless of what others might say; that all is a form of resiliency. But another aspect of resiliency is prevention and mitigation; which they also believe in as a community to reduce marginalization of others in our communities. You can start to prevent the further deterioration caused by stress and difficulties that arise. And also help to provide a shelter of meditation, and eventually coping mechanisms.
First they do create "protective factors" such as providing care and support. This past weekend I met a group of people who used to be LDS. They found the religious aspect of LDS didn't fill their needs spiritually but one reason why they stayed so long in LDS was that there was a deep sense of community. That sense of community is the foundation of the Resiliency Wheel through caring and support. My old roommate was LDS, and when she had financial difficulties, she could apply for not only emotional support, but financial.
These emotional needs can be met by providing those opportunities for meaningful participation, as the Video How Resiliency Happens states. And faith based community organizations are at the forefront of these movements. Making sure youth have programs and opportunities to participate. When I was in youth group we would do Habitat for Humanity missions. I was able to go on three separate missions with my siblings, who were in high school and college, and also with my parents. Not only did this give us a sense of religious community, but it being a church functions, but also a sense of world community. We often would go to struggling neighborhoods and work, and we would see people from all different walks of life, different churches and other NGOs., all participating for a common goal of giving someone a good place to live to help start their families in the right direction with affordable housing. In many cases, being a part of the youth program meant, participation in our churches own organizations like feeding the homeless, or UMOM Day Centers. The emotional need for community can create resolutions for physical needs of others.
When applying other aspects of the Resiliency Wheel to FBOs, you also see they increase of opportunities for meaningful participation also creates pro-social bonding through those events.
I have also found most organizations, like UMOM and others do have to set clear and consistent boundaries for what is appropriate behavior and roles, from those who work there and those who receive assistance from the FBOs, this allows them to be consistent in their programs and therefore consistent with results from the programs, this is done through communicating expectations of the programs to those who need it most. Most programs like UMOM it is all about teaching life skills, it is from those clear expectations, general caring and support that allow these systems to work; whether it is a food bank or a community center, and to implement the final goal of teaching life skills.
As Prof. Sir Michael Rutter stated, we can't stop things from happening to us; stress or distress from rejection or death, or just deprivation from the meaningful relationships we need. But what we can do it learn how the interplay of genetics, exposure, and learning coping mechanisms since we can't stop all negative things from happening in the world, but that is what resiliency is mostly about, coping. Learning the right coping skill for the situations that arise, even with the Resiliency Wheel in place, since as he stated, a lot of resiliency is based up stopping negative things from happening, but that is impossible. So the last element of wheel, according to Michael Rutter, was the most important because that level because we cannot control events or situations, but we can cope through learned exposures, which is more organic than aversion. This is in line with many FBO structures. Not just a hand-out but a hand-up theory. The Wesley Center is a perfect example of an FBO dedicated to empowerment of the community along with use of local NGOs like the Valley of the Sun United Way, who's primary goal is promoting resiliency through education of youth, especially in reading, creating financial stability for families, as well as tax education, and enduring supportive and consistent housing for families. It meant to fulfill those 6 levels to the resiliency wheel and definitely helps them with understanding how to manage their finances, (prevention), but also in coping mechanisms and tool for success later on in life and to help prevent having the same issues that produced some of their previous conditions, which were not "protective factors" before.
Faith communities definitely have an important role in empowering its members and fostering resilience. For people of a faith community who believe in the base faith, they feel empowered by their beliefs. They feel that having the knowledge they do, helps guide them through life. In my opinion, people who are deeply rooted in their faith go through life with more assuredness and strength. If they go through hard times, they have a strong foundation to fall back on. Even for people who do not share the same faith, a faith community can play an important role. It's the basic tenant of most religions that people are generally good and can achieve what they strive for. This knowledge alone is very empowering. It makes them resilient to the challenges that come their way. Faith communities also foster resilience through the community itself. When people have a strong network of friends and people they can confide in, it makes a person much more durable and strong when they face times of struggle.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but faith based communities are both good and bad. Whether or not they have positive or negative effects really depends on the individuals, and how well each individual fits into their faith based group/church. If a religious community is loving, kind, and not trying to convert every person in need of their facilitation, than yes that church can be an extremely positive influence on the community. If the church ostracizes, or refuses assistance to people that define as different from them, then they have the ability to take down the community.
I will use the Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender, GLBT, community as an example. Many churches will as far as to excommunicate their members for participating in such an indulgence, or so called sin. As I said before, many religious groups will try and forcibly deposit you into a program that helps you become straight or condemn your soul to eternal hell.
As another example, many white supremacy groups have a strong Protestant base. They promote the legal and psychological suppression and segregation of Catholics, Jews, Muslims, people not of Arian decent, and my personal favorite, people participating in the GLBT community. Maybe I have missed a few categories, but that covered their main points of focus the last time I encountered their rhetoric.
With that said, these religious communities/churches can give aid in resilience and high levels of empowerment if these people are the followers or potential followers of that specific group/church. They can support they hate crimes and pay for potential legal fees if caught. Upon the convicts return, the person would be treated as a martyr. These churches can pay for programs and therapies to accept their gender and become a heterosexual if need be. Sometime religious communities branch out of their environment and into a different neighborhoods, or even countries, that is in desperate need of relief. These negative religious groups can find the desperate, tired, sick, and hungry then feed, cloth, and medicate them. Meanwhile, these negative groups can convince them that their way is the right way, and receive future converts.
Again, religious groups are not all bad. They can allow for people to stand united against disaster, and condemnation. They can provide, on a local level, the benefaction of the desperate, tired, sick and hungry. They, through marriages, can start the families that are the backbone of community. Religious groups can collect tithes and contributions to those in financial desperation or contribute to various foundations. Churches are often the founders of aid based groups.
Churches are very good at networking. They can also use their influences to set into motion legal petitions and appeals to set free the wrongfully accused in retrials. These networks can work together to change laws and bills that unanimously condemn certain groups, like people of color, or based on sexual orientation. Some religious groups have been constructed from the plights of human disaster. There are two examples that come to mind. Growing up with my mother being African American and a devout Southern Baptist, Sunday school was mandatory. In Sunday school we learned a lot about how the religion was born from slavery. White slave owners used it as a way to justify slavery, and black slaves used God as a form of relief and hope that there was a better place. Eventually the Southern Baptist Church led to the Civil Rights movement in America. Many religious groups were involved, but those were the point of focus to lead and fight against the movement. The second example was at gay pride here in Phoenix. I saw many churches and religious groups show support, and even participate in the parade. Later that day I watch a friend of mine sing in her gospel choir at the festival. It was truly inspiring.
In conclusion, churches are great way for people to unite towards a common cause. They can help people stand together causing empowerment, and through numbers, develop resilience. Whether the cause in which they unite people is for the common good or bad is still up for debate.
Resilience is the capacity to adapt to adversity and bounce back when something goes wrong. Resilience is the ability to go pass the problems and start over again. Once stress and trauma happens in life resilience keeps us functioning both physiologically and psychologically. The research in the resiliency has shown that most kids that had difficulty some time in their lives will bounce back from any kind of adversity. The resiliency wheel model explains that we may not be able to remove the stressors or negative events from people's life but what we can do is to identify the protective factors within the individual and their environment and then try to strengthen them. There are six environmental factors or protective factors that if exist in anyone's life they will do better even if they are doing fine. In the core of this wheel is the individual and the most valuable of all six components is the care and love that surrounds the individual. The remaining five are: communicating high expectation, giving a voice, bonding positively through activities, setting clear boundaries, and teaching the life skills. The resiliency wheel is applicable to any setting and once is present in one's life the person is insulated and has a higher chance of survival in the face of any adversity.
What faith based communities can do in developing resilience is that they can be one of the protective factors in people's life and with the role they play in individuals life they can provide all the six primary conditions of the resiliency wheel. Faith based communities are part of individual's social system and can be a spiritual support for individuals when there are difficulties. The faith based communities also set examples for individuals with the inspirational stories, historical stories of the prophets and the first followers, these stories show how people have gone through adversities in the past but have been able to overcome them with hope and trust in God. Another important aspect of the faith based communities is their life skill teaching, people are usually taught how to negotiate a conflict, the moral values and way of life through their faith communities and religious values. A lot of times faith based communities have programs, and activities that help the individuals bond with other members of the community and this positive bonding can help the person in developing resiliency. Many faith based communities have resources that are made available to the member of their community when there is adversity. Faith based communities actually can start programs that will make communities resilient. The essential elements for building community resilience are the connectedness, commitment and shared values, and the faith based communities can easily create those elements among members of their community.
Building resilience is building skills to endure hardship, in order to be more resilient individuals should stay connected; joining a faith based community or a spiritual organization can fulfill this goal. Another important practice is to make everyday meaningful, something that gives you sense of purpose every day; faith based communities can bring meaning in people's life and give them purpose in life. Also remaining hopeful is a key element in building resilience and faith based communities can bring hope in individual's lives.
To summarize faith based communities have an important role in developing resiliency, and they do that by empowering, inspiring, and giving hope to their members. They also help people cope with adversity acting as a protective factor in people's lives. They teach people life skills and ways to negotiate conflicts and teach them how to bounce back after any adversity. They provide other resources that could be used by their members as needed, and they create a positive bond between the individuals and other members of the community.
Leaders of faith based communities are in an especially effective position to help foster resilience among community members. A primary goal should be to build relationships, understanding and tolerance across different cultures and religions. Respect for diversity will often increase community cohesiveness. When all individuals of a faith based community feel that they have a voice they feel more connected which results in increased community resilience.
Since leaders of faith based communities are often the first source of support for members seeking help, the messages and information they provide could also work to increase community resilience. However, despite the role that faith communities can potentially play in fostering resilience, certain barriers need to be addressed so that they can be most effective.
Resilience building strategies are not always present in faith based communities, but incorporating protective factors into activities will work to increase community and individual resilience in a systematic fashion. Most of human research focuses on avoiding stress and adversity, however, if you want to protect people against adversity you expose them in ways they can cope. Faith communities and their leaders are in an ideal position to promote resilience because of the influence they have on members.
Several of the factors that foster resilience can be found on the resiliency wheel. The factors emphasize empowering individuals as opposed to merely helping those faced with adversity. Caring and support is the most powerful protective factor which can foster resilience in an individual's life. All of the other factors of resilience stem from genuine caring and support. For a faith based community leader this would involve encouraging faith community members and setting clear and consistent boundaries to establish trust.
A faith based community also has the ability provide opportunities for meaningful participation. Community leaders can help community members come up with ways they can address crises themselves. Probably the greatest role that a faith based community can play in promoting resilience is giving its member a supportive network. A church setting can be a great way for community members to build strong and positive relationships that can provide them with acceptance and support in times of need. Lastly, a faith community can help its members to remain hopeful and toward the future. Learning to accept change would fall into the resilience categories of adapting and transforming and a faith based community can assist with this process at an individual and at a community level.
Implementing the six protective factors into a wide variety of setting helps to promote resilience and long-term self-sufficiency in individuals of all ages. There are also other factors that a faith community can help out with which help its member to withstand adversity, adapt or transform. A faith based community could be the perfect platform to establish resilience and insulate the impact that negative circumstance has on a person and the community at large.
Resilience is the ability to adapt to life's ups and especially the downs. This should be an important factor faith communities need to teach to their members. In my opinion, most people join a faith community and belong to one because they need something to lift their spirits so to say and get them out of a rut they may find themselves in. As we already know, empowerment is a crucial part of a community. It's also true that it play a crucial part in a faith community. Faith communities must empower their members so that they may all work together for the greater good.
A faith community can empower their member to be resilient in times of weakness so that they may stand together as one in whatever they may face. I think this is especially helpful in a faith community to have because when a group in a faith community goes through something tough they can all come together and help each other out. Also, when a community is empowered, the individuals themselves can develop the ability to be resilient on their own. A person can look to the future with confidence and hope when they know they are resilient and can face whatever comes their way. When a faith community has resiliency they have a very strong community and can adapt to whatever comes their way and change where change is needed. They learn from the worst and come out stronger.
A role that faith communities can play in developing resilience in their members is to empower their member by giving them opportunities to share how they can improve. When members can share similar beliefs and connect people grow closer together. Faith communities need to show trust in their members and that they will get through adversities. And one important factor faith communities can do to increase resilience among their members is to teach them how to get through tough times, teach them how to adapt, and to teach them how to cope in a healthy way. To do these, faith communities can promote participation in activities that help empower their member and grow resilience among them.
Resilience can be such an important factor in a faith community and any type of community. With resilience strength can develop. When a community is strong they can grow and change things that need improvement. When a community is resilient it can be more at hand to help others around them.
I believe that faith communities have a big influence in building resilience to their members. In fact, many people turn to their faith communities in search for hope and strength when they face difficult times. Some ways faith communities help build resilience is by prayer, and building that social support that we as human beings need to survive. Being that we are social beings, having that support system helps greatly overcome adversity. When there is a lack of that support system, wether it be family, friends, or a faith community, it can be more difficult to build resilience.
Faith communities can also help build resilience by providing shelter, and food because you are having some of your needs met. To help build resilience, you have to be mentally and physically strong. This is why it is so important to help children that live in poverty have their needs met, so they can overcome any obstacle and have a positive view in life.
Having prayer or meditation can help anyone reflect on any problems that they might be going through. It gives them the opportunity to look at the negative and positive outcomes in their situations. Prayer also gives hope, reassurance and a sort of calmness that can be offered through any faith community, especially when there is a network of members that are willing to guide you towards building that resilience.
In an event that there is a traumatic experience, like a death of a loved one, a faith community is there to help the family through support and prayer. Many cultures and religions have their ways of helping their members through these difficult times. Faith communities have been empowering the building of resilience for many years in my opinion.
Faith communities can be one of the strongest contributors to promoting resilience and empowerment and they do it in many ways already. In the video "How Resilience Happens" explained that one of the most important factors in promoting resilience is by building up "protective factors" which are qualities within a person, as well as their surrounding environment, that will make a them become resilient beings. There were 6 factors specifically, but most important of which is caring and support from friends and family. Caring and support are part of the basis of most faith communities and they continuously teach these to the members. They teach them to be caring and supportive to everyone, in addition of offering care/support for their members (and in most cases anyone else as well as we saw from the panel). This step lead to other important protective factors like forming positive bonds, which, again, is something most faith communities does as well by making connections between members and taking in people who are in need.
In the article about resilience promotion from the Mayo Clinic, they gave specific ways that you can make yourself more resilient and faith communities can help with these steps. Faith communities can help, like I said above, build strong, positive relationships. They can help strengthen existing relationships through counseling, in addition to creating new positive ones. Another factor that the article suggests is remaining hopeful. From my experience of religion, this is taught in the preaching and lessons. Keeping hope in God, and each other, will help you get through hardship.
There are many ways faith communities can contribute to promoting resilience and empowerment in children as well. By having children groups and things like Sunday school, they are already creating positive relationships among peers and they can target the key qualities in the children that will give them a better resilience when they are under stress.
Resilience in people is very malleable. This can be shown in biological and neuroendocrine factors within the individual. For example, the stress response released form an individual experiencing bungie jumping for the first time is going to be much different than an experienced instructor. The development of resilience in regard to the individual can translate to their community.
Faith communities are often faced with having to withstand shock without losing their basic functions. For example, advancement in quantum mechanics, particle physics, and many other fields of modern science challenge faith communities with data that do not coincide with their doctrine. Development in science can deter people of being in a faith community. It may seem that the validity of one cannot exist with the other. In leu of modern science, faith communities rely heavily on spirituality and the interpersonal connection to retain their basic functions.
In addition to this, faith communities have retained such a large influence by adapting to circumstantial changes. This can be displayed in many christian faith communities accepting widely believed scientific theories. The circumstances here are that the modern world is constantly developing technology and progressing scientific perspective. This creates a rift between scientific evidence and belief systems due to them often being contradictory of the other. However, some faith communities have been able to incorporate progressive scientific theories into their belief system, thus adapting to modern circumstances.
Faith communities can also empower members on an individual basis. Offering a sense of belonging to members of a faith community creates a resilience to traumatic life events. In this case, the faith community is acting as a support system. In developing resilient members in a community, the overall community resilience is increased as well. I believe that the role of faith communities in building resilience is very effective in that it can reach so many people. Faith is something that people identify with very strongly and that is why resilience in faith communities can be so significant.
Resilience is a community's ability to continue functioning even in the face of major and perhaps negative changes. Faith communities would be considered particularly resilient groups due to the fact that they have been around long enough to each face their fair share of hardships and overcome them. One example of this would be the Jewish faith still remaining strong after the atrocities that they faced during the holocaust. They were able to endure all of that death and suffering and yet still remain intact as a community during and after the events of World War II.
The reason that faith communities are able to do this so well is because they genuinely care about the survival of their faith. In other communities a member may really love being a part of said community, but when worse comes to worse, or if they think it will benefit them individually, that member will put his or her needs over the need of the community. Faith communities don't do this. In fact some faith communities will banish members for putting their own needs above the needs of the faith. On a case by case basis, the strict "faith comes first" mentality may be a good or a bad thing, but overall it does promote a very strong community. This is due to the fact that it makes the group sort of "exclusive," in that, the members that don't get banished feel extra accepted when they see that the group is deciding to keep them.
Faith communities also empower their members by making them feel as though they really are part of the community. When I say make them "feel" as though they are part of the community, I do not mean to imply that the community is pretending to accept them to get more members or something like that, I am simply stating that they really do genuinely integrate new members quickly. This rapid integration process results in each individual member having a very strong sense of purpose.
This strong sense of community among members contributes to the groups resilience due to the fact that once a member is initiated they will want to protect their individual sense of purpose, which means that the survival of the community as a whole is vital to them on an individual level. If you multiply this effect by a million or more members (depending on the individual faith community) you can see why faith communities are so resilient and hard to get rid of.
In case one document can't be opened, I attached two (docx & doc).
Resiliency essentially is the ability for something, whether its a person or a collection of entities, to be able to recover from a consequence. Resiliency is a very important human trait, it helps us adapt and grow stronger from past experiences and it also allows us to strenghten our human bonds between each other. When looking at faith communities, how might they help their members develop resiliency. One of the most important starting points for the development of resiliency is through children. Children are prone to stressful events and must be helped. One simple way faith communities can engage in this activity is through a camp program, similar to the video in the lecture folder. In the camp the children can learn to adapt to stressors in their life, whether if it is school, family life, friends, etc. Once they understand resiliency and its benefits, they will be able to recover from life problems; which would strengthen in many different ways. Also, the camp environment will give them the opportunity to try new coping methods and to learn from their fellow campers.
Another way in which faith communities can help their members develop resiliency is through the network within the community. Problems and stress are always present, they are two things that you cannot escape from. Faith communities are very tightly connection, both spiritually and relationship based. Exposure to other people who have developed resiliency to problems can help strengthen others within that community. They can learn from others and help themselves formulate proper recovery methods. Also empowering an individuals within a faith community who has developed resiliency can be seen as a role model or a teacher of coping techniques.
The idea of prevention and promotion can also be helpful in understanding and working resiliency into a community. Prevention and resiliency are very similar concepts, both revolve around recovery and adaption to situations and stressors. A faith community would have a very important role in talking about prevention and promotion, mainly because the religious environment strives for peace and a lack of life stressors. They want to promote a good life style with healthy relationships. In addition, the idea of coping techniques would server both promotion & prevention as well as resiliency. Coping techniques to deal with high levels of stress and/or personal issues can be used to strengthen resiliency and to promote proper adaption.
Overall I think their are several important key points in which faith based communities can adopt to help its members develop a healthy level of resiliency. Since faith communities are for helping each other in times of need, this generalized teaching of resiliency to children and adults will help them throughout their life.
Faith communities have the ability to empower and motivate people inside their following. Faith communities gives their members something they have in common. Everyone who belongs has the same basic beliefs so it easy to connect people to other people. Connecting people and building lasting relationships is a great way faith communities help with resilience. Most faith communities have some kind of youth and teen outreach department, that is normally ran by a young adult someone who youth and teens can easily connect with. I idea behind youth outreach is so that young adults have a place of their own, free from parents where they can grow with other youth members and talked to in a language that they can understand. It provides a safe place for youth to open up and to deal with the pressure of going through becoming an adult without the judgment and worry about what their parents may feel about what their youth is going through. We also see support groups and rehab centers that are often ran by some type of religious organization. For example the 12 step recovery process for addicts has a religious format and uses faith to help people over come their addictions. They also have tons of organizations that help people nation wide with different kinds of issues. St. Vincent DE Paul is one of the largest organizations in the world that can help anyone with almost anything. The understanding that everyone is human and that everyone has feelings is something that faith is based upon. Even if you wanted to look on a legal stand point people are able to talk to a priest and anything that is said cannot be repeated it is protected under law so faith has a way of making people feel accepted and safe not only from prosecution but from judgment of others.
Resilience means ability to take a shock, adapt to it and transform from it. Simply stated it is the way in which we learn and grow from our experiences. There are different types of resiliencies that a faith based community can help its members develop. The resilience against hits to their faith or parish as a whole, resilience against society's attempts to alter or influence their faith, personal struggles that they may face within their individual lives and plenty of other types. The emotional resilience of an individual like the speaker from the resilience.com "How resilience happens" video talked about forms the core of the community. For a community to be strong, its members have to be emotionally secure with themselves and with their personal identities. People go through ups and downs in life that test their will and make them question their identities or faiths. The faith based community plays the part of creating an environment that is resilient in and of itself. Just like individuals have to be strong, the core values of the community have to be solid. The community builds itself from strong people by empowering them and promoting individual resilience. So the community serves as an example for individuals and promote an environment of individual empowerment so that they themselves may be resilient. Since the communities power comes from its ability to communicate as a single united force. It has a solid foundation of visions, causes and missions. It has to be strong enough to withstand adversity and change. By withstanding change I mean having the capacity to embrace and accept it. For example, as time goes on different types of causes and ways of communicating those causes need to be developed to cater to the people living in that time era. More specifically, the only reason churches and religions that were established thousands of years ago are still thriving today is that they were able to change and adapt to the progress and changes that humans have undergone since then. Faith based organizations build resilience in its member by serving as a great example on a grand scale that it is possible to absorb a shock and build up from it. The welcoming atmosphere of a faith based community invites and keeps its members. By having different programs or events to help members develop, the community establishes a reliable environment that its members can come to expect. This type of environment has support groups, services for the needy, and open communication with between it members. So, a reliable and compassionate environment is a strong and powerful one that empowers its members.
I believe that faith communities can aid in empowering their members to develop resilience by utilizing the tips for resilience as stated in the "Resilience: Build Skills to Endure Hardship". These steps provide a good guideline to make everyone successful in building their resistance and enduring life's hardships. Faith communities can provide the community best suited to do this. Step one states get connected. Already, those involved in a faith community have access to a particular community of people and for support. However, faith leaders can take this a step further by providing neighborhood communities. For example, weekly meetings or activities can be held and organized by either one neighborhood leader or by everyone taking turns. The groups would need to be based on age to be most helpful. This is especially crucial in helping kids and teens to build resilience. Not only does this offer community support but it also would help to give them extracurricular activities in a learning environment and could potentially keep them out of trouble. Also, although it is kind of cheesy, even an online forum may be helpful, such as Facebook. Step two states to make every day meaningful. At every church meeting, the faith leader can provide a weekly goal, or even a daily goal for a given week. By having something to aspire to any individual can make their day meaningful. Step three states "learn from experience". Different groups can be established within the faith community to appeal to certain situations or life experiences that someone may be experiencing (ie: young moms, divorces, job loss, mental health, etc.). Step four is to remain hopeful and this can also be gained from people within a community that may be experiencing similar life situations. Step five is taking care of one's self. By utilizing volunteers within the community, exercise and/or relaxation classes can be offered: yoga, meditation, aerobics, neighborhood running group, neighborhood walks, etc.. The last step is to be proactive. This can be as simple as the faith leader making sure that the community is aware of the tools/resources readily available to them. A lot of people, I assume, go to church on Sunday and think that may be the one and only service offered/available to them. I'm positive this is not the case in any church congregation.
All of these key concepts also fit in the "Resilience Wheel" which includes caring and support as the foundation of the circle along with building life skills, recognizing and adhering to boundaries, communicating expectations and forming positive relationships.
Resilience means being able to adapt to adversity. It means being able to cope with life stresses and problems and still have the ability to enjoy life. Being resilient also means that you are able to reach out to others for support. I think that faith communities play a role in empowering members by offering different ways of support through empowerment groups, counseling, aid relief groups (food banks, shelters, clothing drives), and through adult and youth programs. I think that faith communities offer an environment for people to connect with one another. Faith communities provide an environment in where individuals can foster healthy positive relationships with others who can provide help and support when necessary to the individual. Faith communities provide individuals with a healthy stable environment where they can feel accepted and supported in both good times and bad. An environment where they know they will not be judged.
Faith communities provide ways for people to make meaningful contributions in their lives and the lives of others. People are able to take part in different events hosted by faith communities that help build self-esteem, empower others, educate and give back. For example, if an individual helped in a shelter they are able to reach out to others who are struggling with different adversities in life. By doing this they are able to be an agent of support, as well as offer help to those in need. By being able to take part in different events that help to foster healthy living, individuals are able to feel a sense of accomplishment and a sense of purpose in life.
Faith communities inspire people to remain hopeful and never give up. Faith communities offer hope for the future. Faith communities believe that "everything happens for a reason" and "God does not give you anything you can't handle." They believe that difficulties and hardships can be overcome. They provide members with counseling groups, support groups, etc. that can help in aiding individuals in overcoming their struggles. People in these groups have also had their share of struggles and by being able to work with others and relate to others about similar problems helps an individual to realize that anything is possible. Having people to help you get through your problems only empowers an individual more; it gives them hope that things will get better. By being able to share your problems with others as well as hear their problems and their ways of overcoming their struggles will help individuals within the community develop resiliency. Although problems may exist, we are hopeful that they will blow over as time goes on. We must not dwell on our problems, instead we must work to improve them.
According to the text, empowerment is about obtaining, producing, or enabling power. I believe that faith based communities can do all three for their members. It can help its members obtain power by assigning them roles within the faith-based community; whether a member is in charge of the day care or any of the many other roles in the community. When members have obtained even a little power it can increase their self-esteem and fulfill a need in the member's life. The faith-based can produce or even create power within the community. When the faith-based community creates a new social project, it has to assign people to roles, which have power. Each time it creates power and helps members, obtain the power. But I believe that faith based communities are best at enabling power. To me enabling power is helping members realize their power and helps them harness it. I believe that faith-based communities are good at helping their members reach their full potential and help them realize the power that they already have. They do this in a variety of ways; it can be as simple as a message in a sermon or even just a talk with a fellow member of the faith-based community.
Faith-based communities are even better at creating resilience. Resilience can be fostered in environments of connectedness, commitment, and shared values. To me this seems to be the definition of faith-based communities. These three things are the underlying aspects of them. Another important aspect of resilience is participation. Faith-based communities seem to require their members to do some participation even if it is just participating in weekly services. Faith based communities also provide structure, roles, and responsibilities to all of their members. These are also related to resilience. When people know their responsiblities and know that they have a role in their community, it can be something for them to focus on in a time of change; a time when they need to be resilient. To me the most important things that faith-based communities can provide to their members in terms of resilience are support and critical reflection. Faith-based communities build a sense of community in their members. As we have learned in the past, a sense of community is created by membership, influence, integration, and fulfillment of needs, and shared emotional connection. All of which can easily be seen in a faith-based community. When people feel they have support they have people to talk to, to discuss their worries with, someone to lean on in times of need. Faith-based communities also provide critical reflection, which is very important in resilience. In order to be resilient people need to learn from their past as well as their neighbors past. Critical reflection entails looking at what has worked in the past, what did not go as planned, what where their obstacles, and most important of all what can be done to improve future outcomes. Faith-based communities are often discussing the lives of their members and it teaches other members important life lessons. While empowerment is an integral part of resilience and faith-based communities can create both for their members, I believe that they are better at providing a foundation for resilience.
Faith communities can have a positive impact on a person's resiliency. With prayers and worship, a person can be more resilient by knowing that their personal god(s) is with them and can help them get through the problem whether it might be personal troubles, family problems, or just life in general. It gives them that feeling of security and guidance.
However this is only one way that can help improve resiliency. By being in a positive community that looks out for their member's spiritual well being as well as mental and physical, a person can feel even more secured as a whole knowing that he has a safety net to fall on when times are hard and tough. With these faith communities, they have resources for most of the common problems such as counseling, spiritual guidance, and drug/alcohol treatments. These faiths can also comfort the loss of family and friends, ability to transgress through life changes, and to help understand how life can be handled.
They can also provide workshops for a variety of subjects (motherhood, life skills, etc) and classes that can help members empower themselves and enrich their knowledge of how to navigate through this world. By attending/participating in these events, a person can be more likely to be successful in their lives and know how to cope with life troubles effectively and positively.
"Resilience will not make your problems go away but it will make you see past them." This statement was found in one of the assigned videos and I think that it is one of the most important things that can be gained from the topic. Resiliency was described in the first video as something that changes and persists at the same time. As a human being we know that this is not always something that is easy and that we want to endure. The fact that we do endure those obstacles and stressful situations, make us resilient. Resilience has three different properties. The first one is the ability to with stand a shock. Usually this is in the form of a death of a family member or friend, a loss of a job, or even an illness. The next is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. When obstacles arise, sometimes the original pathway that you were one must be deferred. This change or adaptation is a part of being resilient. Finally, the final property is transforming to a different way of life. When a situation arises, as aforementioned, the same pathway cannot always be taken. This is the same way with the actions that have been taken in the past before. In order to get past a situation, you have to move past the current actions in which you are taking at that present moment. These actions are not impossible. In the heat of the moment, when a stressful situation seems like it is taking over, it may seem like it is impossible to move on and to be happy however through the help of others, outside situations, and even yourself, you can adjust and become resilient.
The main thing to remember is that resiliency is a participatory approach. This is addressed in video two. However, once a person decides that they want to move on from the stressful situation, they can branch out and gain help from other and themselves. The best place in my opinion for a person who needs guidance and assistance is from a faith community. When a person becomes a part of a faith community, they develop a feeling of belonging and identification. The components of membership are usually that they have the same boundaries and emotional safety, as well as personal investment and identification within that community, and finally a sense of influence and shared emotional connection.
When a person is suffering and needs support from someone, the best way from them to cope, at least in my opinion and my own experience, is to relate with people who have a shared emotional connection. Faith communities are able to offer this support. According to the third video, there are six primary conditions or environmental protective factors. These six conditions fit into this specific "wheel" as she called it. The primary condition was caring and support. Once this was fulfilled it seemed as if the others fell somewhat into place. It seems to me, through the development of this course, that the main purpose of faith communities is to offer caring and support. Therefore this would be another prime example of why faith communities would have an impactful role on resiliency.
The best analogy of resiliency is to that of rubber. It can be bent out of shape but in the end, it still goes to the way it was. Over time, it can be molded to other forms and shapes but in the end, it is still rubber, and it went through a lot to get through those shapes. This is the same for resiliency. People deal with stress every day. While it would be simple to say "let's just get rid of stress!" we can't do that. This would make us unable to adapt to tough situations when they do arise, because let's face it, they do arise. This is the same for vaccines. When we immunize, we are exposing the person to that bacteria so they can build immunity to it. We have to build resiliency so that we are able to become powerful people. We can do this through the help of not only our own self esteem, but also the help of others, particularly those in a faith community because those in a faith community have the power to really help us and steer us back in the right direction as well as offer us the emotional support that we need.
I believe that faith communities can play an integral role in empowering their members and developing resilience. Because faith communities are comprised of members working and devoted to the same cause(s), empowerment in the social and spiritual realms of their member's lives is often promoted and preached. I personally feel faith communities can have an even bigger role in developing resilience's. The article by the Mayo Clinic offers many ways to improve and develop resilience and many of these occur naturally in faith communities. First, get connected. This is a prime foundation of resilience. As humans, we are social creatures and crave social connection and understanding. Furthermore, when we have positive relationships to fall back on when we experience hardship we have more resources available to help and assist us bounce back. In faith communities, members are encouraged to reach out to other members and to develop these relationships both inside and outside of the church. Second, make every day meaningful. Many people in faith communities use their faith and deity as a way to make every day meaningful and again this helps promote resilience as it can give meaning to every day living. This also goes hand in hand with being hopeful. And finally, be proactive. Being in a faith community (or any community for that matter) offers members several ways to be proactive and gives members the tools to stop problems and control stresses before they get out of control.
These key areas of how to build resilience I feel are imbedded in most faith communities and as a result can truly help members develop the tools necessary to bounce back from hardships and face adversity when it arises.
Resilience is defined by Wikipedia as "the positive ability of a system or company to adapt itself to the consequences of a catastrophic failure caused by power outage, a fire, a bomb or similar". Faith based communities on their own do empower their members and have a developing resilience. Some faith based communities are able with stand catastrophic event, adapt to changing circumstances, and are able to transform when the current reality is changed. For example, after 9/11/01 church attendance in the United States was the highest it had ever been, aside from holidays. This happened because faith based communities have a sense of resilience in helping its members cope with tragic events, adapt to changes in one's community, and its flexibility to change circumstances arise. Faith communities bring about a positive sense of community in which members feel cared for and accepted. After 9/11 we saw that the United States became "Americans" struck by tragedy as a whole compared to individuals. This togetherness brought about a country community hit by tragedy that caused an empowerment in unity. Faith based communities can form resilience because of their genuine care and support of its members. They promote a sense of hope and positivity, which portrays "protective factors" in times of tragedy and despair.
There were many ways discussed in this week's assigned material that faith-based communities can help build empowerment and resilience. One such way is through respecting diversity. When a faith-based community respects the diversity of others, the individuals that benefit from that respect are less likely to become oppressed and more likely to have their voice heard and respected as a valid view-point. As discussed in the class materials, faith-based communities are often looked at with respect and used as a role model for proper behavior. Therefore, when the community empowers people, respects them, and provides them with the necessary social support, others are more likely to follow this example and lessen the chances that adverse conditions will harm the resiliency of others.
Not only can faith-based communities help by creating situations that optimize social support for those in need, but members can also contribute themselves. The faith-based community could promote involvement of their lay people by encouraging them to build and support groups that respond to adverse conditions. Not only could these groups create ways to obtain resources, but they also could provide skills necessary to look for resources if a disaster hits. They would serve not only as a form of social support and cohesion, but also would allow members in a participatory fashion to look for the solutions to any problems that crop up. If resiliency is defined as the ability to cope and adjust with changing situations, the skills that would be obtained through this support and training would promote resiliency, and would also enable members to feel empowered to help themselves and other members of the disadvantaged group around them.
We learned from the various videos that the negative things in life can never be prevented entirely, and that it is natural for us to experience issues at some point in our life. What is important is how we address and cope with these issues. Resilient people do not necessarily have a low occurrence of problems in life; they have just developed better means to deal with them. Having their voice heard and having people to turn to when they need a helping hand or an ear to listen strengthens people's confidence in themselves. All other tiers of solutions to resiliency stem off of that support and caring of a social support system. People will naturally feel cared for if they have people that truly care and truly want to offer social support. People who are allowed to become involved in finding solutions develop a sense of control over situations they may have previously felt helpless in. They will develop confidence in their actions and are more likely to be assertive to get what they want. In our democratic society, everyone has a voice--- the problem is being heard. Only through developing a resilient community and empowering all individuals can those that are oppressed develop the voice they need to be heard in our democratic society. One person can start a trend, but standing together enables those oppressed to create the change they wish to see in their lives.
On a final note, faith-based communities can provide support and resources as I just discussed. However, we cannot make choices for people. I cannot express enough that we cannot just give solutions- solutions that those that are oppressed may or may not even want. What we should do is promote situations for collaboration and empower those people to see and make the changes they deem necessary. Trying to help by telling people what they need undermines the very essence of community psychology. Only through participatory action can we truly make a difference for and with those in need.
I believe that faith communities can play a major role in helping their members to develop resilience. In one of the articles posted in the lecture we learned that resilience is learning to adapt to situations. It is learning to look at the glass being half full instead of half empty. I think that having a positive outlook on life and learning to overcome your trials is a major part of most faith communities.
One way that faith communities can help is through networking and building relationships. Often times within faith communities, friendships are made and relationships are strengthened. Finding people with things in common can often lead to a more positive attitude. When going through trials and tribulations it is important to have a good support group in order to help bring you up and let you know everything will be ok. When you go through a dark period alone, it tends to be harder to develop resilience. This is one great way that faith based communities help develop resilience.
Another way faith based groups help develop resilience is most faith communities have counseling programs, or even just a head of their religion that people trust and can go to in order to talk about what is going on in their lives. This helps people build resilience by helping them find out that sometimes their situations are not as bad as they may seem. The leader of the faith can help people adapt to their situations in an easier manner.
Overall I think faith communities are very influential in developing resilience among their members. I think that if member swill open their minds and accept their help, faith communities can be a big help in their lives.
There are many roles a faith based community can play a role in helping to empower members and create resilience. Empowering members that are part of your community is important in keeping their faith and loyalty to a certain faith community. Resilience basically means a community is able to bounce back from adversity. Some of the roles a faith community can play are to have caring and supportive people and groups, a sense of trust and honesty and having faith in God.
Most faith communities have some type of counselor or even a pastor that a person can go talk to if they are having a rough time in life. Most communities will even have support groups so they can talk and relate with each other on what is going on in their life whether they have suffered trauma from a hurricane or tornado or if they were domestically abuse or even have/had a substance abuse problem. Faith communities could even open up workshops for people on how to deal with hardships that may come your way in one point of your life or another. Talking with people and showing your support to those in hard times will help bring the community together and bring resilience as well.
Trust and honesty in a faith community is a big part of resilience. If the community is not able to bounce back from some kind of disaster because there is no trust and honesty then they will find somewhere else that will give them this feeling. After a natural disaster happens people want to know the when, where, why and how's and the community cannot give them these answers then they will again, find it somewhere else. I think to empower your members it is important to be open and honest with your members so they know this is a community that cares about each and every one of them.
Lastly, I think having faith in God is very important. People believe in different faiths because they believe in a higher power to protect them and help them through the hard times. They want to believe that God is there to fix whatever bad things are happening in their life or in the world. I think this is what faith is all about, trusting God to help everyone through the trauma and disasters in the world and relieving some of that stress off a person's shoulders.
I think these are just a few of the roles that a faith based community can play when it comes to empowering its members and creating resilience. There are so many things a faith can do to help a person in need, no matter what this need is. I think these faith based community are not just about believing in God and going to church every Sunday, they do so much more to help their own communities and many others outside of their community.
Faith based communities have a very large role in empowering their members and helping to create resiliency. Resilience is the ability to deal with events in their lives that are difficult. The Resilience is the ability to deal with these events and grow and adapt from these situations. Faith based communities can do this in a variety of different ways. Some of the ways that faith communities can make a difference is by creating close-knit communities, counseling resources, relationship with a higher power and a belief that in the community of doing the right thing. They also help create certain rules to live by which help with resiliency.
The close-knit communities created by faith-based communities are one of the best resilience factors that these communities create. What the close-knit communities do is create a support structure for people who need help. A very good example of this is having food baskets for families who are struggling with affording food so that they have enough food for the week. The church to help others in tough situations donates these food items. So faith communities really allow the members to create a community in helping each other through donations and many different ways. Another way that close knit communities makes a difference is having these relationships with other people who have come ideals and beliefs as you do really makes it easier for them to help out each other. Not only by donating but also just being there for each other not only as being apart of the same faith community but also as friends and companions on the same spiritual journey.
Another resilience factors are their ability to offer counseling and other resources for people who might be in need. When going through tough situations sometimes you need more than just friendly advise and you need to talk to someone with more experience in dealing with these difficult issues. Many times people don't know where to get this kind of help but thanks to faith communities many of them offer these resources readily to anyone who needs them. A very good example of this is the church that I attend and how at the end of every service they have counselors at the front of the church if anyone needs to talk to them. This is great resilience factor since it makes getting more professional help for your problems more readily available. This really allows people to identify their issue and learn how to adapt and change to the situation.
The belief in a higher power is another resilience factor that is offered from faith communities. The reason that a belief in a higher power greater than oneself is a resilience factor is that it really allows the person in the situation to have faith in something. That there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that we can preserve through this situation even though it seems at times there isn't any hope. The faith communities show through their preaching how important resilience. This can be seen in all scripture such as with Jesus Christ constant being ridiculed and even killed but his message was to always believe and to fight against what you know is wrong. This is so important for resiliency since the belief that things can change for the better can be enough to help you get through the situation. The belief in the higher power can arguably be one of the most important resilience factors any one can have in their lives and getting that through faith communities can make it even stronger.
Faith communities also help give rules and morals to live by that can help make you more resilient. The rules and guidelines to live can be powerful factors since it helps you do the next right thing in your life. Doing the right thing not only helps avoid devastating events in your life but it can also help get you back on track when you wonder down the wrong path. This is something that can be clearly seen when people begin to stray from the right path you see more and more situations arise so having something to fall back on can really help people to become more resilient again. The faith communities can really put an emphasis on these, which can help people really see the importance in doing this. All of these examples really show how big of a role faith communities have in developing and maintaining resilience factors in people's lives.
In my opinion, resilience is having the courage to works past those problems and come out on top. Being able to overcome obstacles in your life and having a positive understanding of who you are. People need to foremost feel like they are important and have a meaning to being on this Earth. Growing up in Christian and Catholic communities, they have the belief that all people are created in "Gods Eyes" and therefore holds a special meaning to God and the members of the community. This is the basis of faith communities empowering their members. They want them to know that they are accepted for themselves and nobody else. The members alone have the power to create change and be themselves without being judged. They are perfect in God's eyes and they do not need to change.
Faith Community teachers emphasize this especially in bible study classes while the children are growing up. It is a good way to build self-esteem and courage in kids before they get out into the real world where life events can be particularly troublesome. They hold meetings for those who need help. They have alcoholics anonymous or drug rehab meetings. Not only does this keep people on track to become better but it emphasizes that they are good enough to be the better person. It helps the individual build resistance to the problem and work past it.
In the Catholic community and as represented by the faith panel in the first unit, they have people dedicated to helping people find jobs. Not having a job is hard for families. It is hard for them to provide for their kids and can bring sadness or stressed relationships amongst members. So they give them all the tools they need to find a job and teach them that they can offer who they are and still get a job.
Faith communities bring people together to understand that there is a social network out there for them. They have support by everyone to help them. It is not an obstacle that much be accomplished alone but one they can utilize their community for. We are people who need contact with others in order to thrive. It is just part of who we are and is built into our genetics. We do better when we have others help us and when we are alone, others can provide emotional or other support. Faith communities put an emphasis on helping the community. Whether it is through doing community service or directly aiding their member, they try to reinforce resilience in their members.
Resilience is not a concept I have learned much about but I understood the meaning since it is a basic theme in mostly all communities. It is not just faith communities that reinforce resilience in their members but even school clubs or classes reinforce it as well. ASU wants their students to know that they have the help they need in order to succeed with school and beyond graduation. They provide them with the tools in order to build their confidence that they can do this because there is support.
Our readings this week, along with the videos, taught that protection is the key element behind constructing resilience. In faith communities, I feel that protection is one of their main goals; therefore, resilience and faith communities go together very well and it would only make sense that these communities can have a huge role in supporting and building resilience. Faith communities of all kinds offer the utmost support as well as provide a nurturing environment, two qualities that are needed in order to promote resilience. Also, faith communities provide many opportunities for their members to participate in outreach programs and activities. When members are able to participate in something that allows them to learn leadership and planning skills, resiliency is then further developed. Faith communities are an excellent source for creating a safe environment in which members feel free to discuss their personal issues. People can use faith communities as an outlet when they are looking for liberation or relief from negative experiences, and I think that this is a crucial element in building resiliency. Finally, I think that one of the most important ways that faith communities can contribute to building resiliency is through their participation in personal services. Many communities offer counseling, and most of the time communities have some type of leader that members of that particular community can go to for advice. It has been my experience that most of the time these leaders have been trained and prepared to deal with issues of varying magnitudes; for example I was raised as a member of the Catholic church, and any priest that I have ever spoken with about personal issues or concerns has always been extremely knowledgeable and able to offer sound advice to me, similar to a counselor. This area of faith communities is extremely important in building resiliency. Ultimately, I feel that faith communities, regardless of the type of faith, are an excellent source for creating and encouraging resiliency simply because of what they represent and believe.
The role that faith communities have in the surrounding community is certainly an impactful one. We have discussed how they can provide support for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and also how they may contribute to social justice. Another area in which faith communities have numerous opportunities for involvement is empowering members and developing resiliency in the community and its members. Resiliency is how things can change and persist at the same time. To promote resiliency in a person, protective factors are especially important. Faith communities have a great opportunity to provide such protective factors and promote resiliency.
One example that faith communities may provide for resiliency and empowerment is creating youth programs. We saw the video, "Resilience Camp" which showed a great example of how a youth program can promote resiliency. Faith communities would definitely be able to create a program that is overseen by its members and volunteers, which include children members and at-risk youth (or any youth) in the community. In one video we were to watch the commenter described how important protective factors are, and how each conversation and interaction can have an impact on an individual. These youth programs can provide numerous interactions and conversations between youths and adults. They can provide tools for youth about overcoming hardships, present and future. Also, by creating these programs, it gives the youth involved opportunities to be in a positive environment, and to participate in positive activities.
Another are which a faith community can promote resiliency is in the preparedness and reaction of disasters. A community will be able to overcome disasters at a greater rate if they are resilient. A faith community can aid this by creating a system of preparedness for their community. They may hold meetings, or practice drills to involve the community. Also, they may hold a certain amount of necessary amenities for when a disaster may strike. Since faith communities have such a wide network of members, they have a unique opportunity to provide this help. When a disaster does strike, faith communities can gather their members together to provide medical, amenities needs, and also any psychological help that may be needed. Churches can also be used as centers for community members to seek refuge.
There are also many other programs that a faith community can create to promote resiliency and empowerment. One such program could be a meeting of women to encourage empowerment. This could be battered women, or any woman that would want to connect and learn. Also, to encourage healthy relationships between child and parent, a program for parenting classes could be created. And a final example could be the many numerous community betterment projects a faith community participates in. By seeing, feeling, and participating in events that truly help another, there is empowerment for its participant, as well as for those that are being helped.
Because of the unique opportunity faith communities have, with their wide network of members, and ability to create positive programs for the surrounding community, there are many ways a faith community can contribute to resiliency and empowerment.
Faith communities can play a major role in empowering their members while developing resilience. Empowering the members of your community involves encouraging them to strive toward reaching their potential and motivating them to make a positive impact in their communities. Faith communities can empower their members through counsel, support through biblical texts and/or verses, positive engaging activities, religious events, powerful sermons, faith groups, and many other ways. Faith communities can be especially empowering because not only are they promoting members from a personal standpoint, but also from a spiritual perspective that proposes faith-based support.
Developing resilience is crucial throughout one's life to determine how well they will recover from the inevitable downfalls and unfortunate situations that life will through at you. Resilience encompasses the ability that a person has to adapt to changing circumstances. Sometimes it is necessary to transform to a different way of life when the current is no longer feasible.
In order for faith communities to develop resilience in their members, it is important to understand the characteristics of a system, learn how to alter its dynamics, highlight key issues, and identify multiples ways to create a stable state. The value of engaging with members to promote resilience emphasizes the outcomes of the process from a qualitative perspective, not a quantitative one. Important environmental protective factors help members on an individual level. When faith communities desire to promote resilience within a member, it is important to ensure that they are genuinely cared for and supported by the community. These are foundational aspects when instilling resilience. Faith communities then need to communicate that they have high expectations of what a member is capable of achieving, they need to show they that are going to listen to the member and hear what they have to say, promote positive bonds for the member with others and in various activities, set clear boundaries to ensure the members feel safe and trusting, and finally to find ways to teach the members life skills that they might need. Religious-based support throughout this process is important so that the member knows that no matter what happens in this life, they have their religion, their faith, and their god.
Faith communities give hope to people that someone is watching out for their well-being even if they are not taking care of themselves 100% of the time. Faith says that if you look to the future and pray for your needs, you will be guided down the right path. Resiliency needs hope in order for it to work, it also needs confidence. Typically, those who attend worship services are confident in their ability to believe and that their beliefs will have a substantial return - it will save them from future harm or help them through rough times.
Someone who is a part of a faith community has structure, relationships within that community that can empower them to be strong, to do things that they have never been able to do because fear kept them from doing so and has given then the support they need when they are having a weak moment. The word that faith communities spread is a positive one, filled with triumphant stories of dark days when believing that you could accomplish a task meant that you could perform that task.
The combination of support, love, relationships, strength, confidence and bravery that are asserted into your lifestyle from a faith community can empower anyone to do good around the world, help others and gets others to help in return. Faith communities also have resources like counseling that is free to obtain from any member of the community. Counseling is priceless and worth taking advantage of when someone is in need.
Faith is also a place to learn and to grow. Not only does it spread the word about religion, but the positive message of being together. Usually a faith community holds several events a year for the members to mingle, come together and to bond. This bonding creates resources for an individual and makes the community stronger. The community can only be as strong as its weakest link and if they are able to include everyone, empower them and help them to be resilient, they are serving their purpose.
Faith communities have a very reaching hand that can guide and teach people, even those that cannot easily be reached by officials or teachers. The opportunity of a faith based community to teach its members how to cope and handle specific things is a wonderful tool for empowerment of the individual. Within each faith based community, there are people who are in need of guidance and direction and they find that through the teaching of their church leaders and fellowshipping of the other members. Through this fellowshipping and teaching, members can learn the basics that they need to face disasters and phenomena, even an average day that can be daunting to them. The faith based community leaders teach and are respected and listened to, with members giving heed to their words because of who they are. With this power, there is an opportunity to reach many people who can in turn, help others and eventually affect their environment and all who surround them. They say 'many hands make light work' and it is the same thing with community faith based leaders who have the ability to capacitate the community members and change how they deal with life and its situations, making their view of life much sweeter and giving them the hope of a better tomorrow, constantly motivating them to keep moving towards that future change.
In the video from the lesson resiliency is describe as a three pronged system. For a community to be resilient it must consist of the following three properties: the able to withstand shock without losing the basic functioning, the ability to adapt to different situations and to transform to a new life when your previous ways no longer make due. Resiliency to make is the ability to bounce back from almost any situation, it is a key aspect of life to move beyond a certain situation.
Faith based communities build their communities around skills of resiliency. They can participate in events that emphasize being able to easily adapt to new situations by listening to elder members of the community describe how things tend to change over time. This creates a support system for the members of the community to feel they are not alone in any given situation and that they have others to work the problems with.
In addition to this faith based communities provide help to members of the community. If a member is sick, they would care for them while they are recovering and rejoice with them when they are healed. How communities could become more resilient would be to reach out to other faith based communities to have a network of people with different talents and skills, if they were to gain these talents and skills they have a better chance at being resilient.
Resiliency is the ability to persist and remain healthy during and after aversive events, such as a major catastrophe. It can be measured by looking at the individual or a community as a whole. Resiliency has three components, according to one of the vides, and those are for a system to withstand a shock without losing its basic function; the ability for a system to adapt to a changing environments, and the ability to transform to different way of life when the current event is no longer feasible. Resiliency is important because in reality, this life is full of suffering and catastrophe. That is no one is sure when the next earthquake, flood or hurricane may occur, who it may affect and how severe it will be. The fact of the matter is that people, at one point or another in their lives are affective by life changing events, whether it involves a loved one passing away, losing one's career or being in a major car accident. (Keep in mind; the events mentioned are those that occur mostly in our contemporary, setting/country).
Among the many services and support that faith communities offer in generous quantities, fostering and reinforcing resiliency in its members is a salient one. Faith communities offer help, financial and social support, services, including food drives and donating clothing, among many other things that help individuals, their families and their communities in the toughest of times. The types of programs that are set up to help people in the community empower those who help make such ordeals possible; they foster a sense of leadership, welfare and good faith. Moreover, for those are receiving help, from familiar individuals, close friends, members of the congregation, etc. it translates to the reinforcement or promotion of resiliency.
Therefore, there exists a simultaneous flux in which empowerment on one side is developed, while resilience on the other is reinforced. One group helps another, but the common denominator appears to be that the faith community bonds them both. For example, the faith community may announce a food drive and ask members who are willing to participate to devote one to two days a week for this. In doing so, a sense of empowerment is fostered in the individuals who help. Those being help may find themselves with little hope, until they see that there are, in fact, people who do care about their needs, and in a sense, hope is still alive. This is where resiliency is upheld in the party receiving the help.
In essence, faith communities focus on helping anyone who is willing to be helped and in doing so empower people and build resiliency both in individuals are groups alike. Taking a closer look, religion itself plays this very role of empowering and building resiliency. Religion can answer questions that would otherwise send an individual into a downward spiral. Religion helps people cope, find meaning, enjoy life to a higher degree and build a fellowship among people, who evidently build faith communities, etc. Therefore, it becomes a cycle in which helping one another is the focal point.
Faith communities play a crucial role when considering resilience. Faith communities lend the support needed in times of need for their members to allow them to bounce back and carry on in daily life. They create a sense of security for their members and hit this issue from many angles.
A major concept is in the name, Faith. Faith is a powerful instrument that allows people to carry on even in the worst of times. Having that reassurance that a greater being has their interest in mind makes the trials and tribulations that we go through in life seem miniscule. Knowing that there is a paradise beyond the tangible world, gives hope in lieu of desperation.
Also, there is always strength in numbers. Having the backing of like-minded individuals in a time of need is paramount to resilience. Knowing that you don't stand alone brings courage and strength to get through the hardest of times.
Faith communities also provide a sense of security through the vast resources that they offer. Being a member of the Catholic faith, we have a resource for just about everything. Not to mention that he Catholic churches could be considered one of the most resilient religions out there. Even in the face of controversy, the greater good always seems to prevail. Having this strong and bountiful backing definitely adds to a person's resilience.
When watching the videos, one of the first thoughts to cross my mind was I wish I could show these at church. I think so many of our parishioners would be compelled to action and there could be something that we could do as a whole. I know that through the years, there have been many programs especially aimed at teens and adolescents. The last video especially hit me hard and I couldn't help but think of the many programs at church that potentially could help with many of those issues. There is so much work to be done and so little time. It is time that we look at the resources that we do have and extend our resilience and hope to those who could desperately use some.
I think that faith communities play quite a large role in developing resiliency. In my younger years I was an active member of my church and my church's youth group. When I suffered hardships or made terrible mistakes that could have had very negative outcomes on my life, I found it very beneficial to be part of such a great faith community who loved and supported me. My faith community had a true bond and it seemed like that bond was only intensified when one of the members was in need. I can remember feeling as though everyone was gathering around me. They were there for me, to cry, to pray, and to try to take some of the worry and burden away. Come to think of it, not belonging to a faith community currently has probably deprived me of this type of fellowship over the past few years.
I think it is necessary to point out that for a faith community to play a role in developing resiliency, they need to keep an open-minded approach to helping its members. I think that is why my faith community was so helpful; there was no judging, no condemnation, and no treating people differently because of choices that they made. My youth pastor was a wonderful man who could see the hurt inside of the kids in our youth group and without them having to say a word, he was there to help. I have heard stories though about faith communities turning their backs on individuals when the individuals need their help the most. As far as for faith communities who believe in Jesus Christ, I don't see how they could do this. Growing up with the principles and values that I did within my church has taught me that we all stumble. Everyone endures hardships and it is the growth in the rebuilding of one's self that is the important part. I think it is important to mention that in one of the videos it was said that you do not build resiliency by staying in a bubble, you build it from falling down and picking yourself back up. I agree too that protective factors can play a large role in helping to pick a person back up after tragedy, and I see faith communities as being a major protective factor in the lives of those who are involved in them.
Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from a change or misfortune; a resilient community has the ability to withstand a large shock, adapt and transform. Empowerment is the process through which marginalized or oppressed individuals gain greater control over their lives and environment, acquire valued resources and basic rights, and achieve important life goals and reduce societal marginalization. There are four important processes at the organizational level that are vital to empowerment. The processes are shared leadership, training and group facilitation, participation in decision making and sense of common purpose. Faith based communities typically have different committees within the organization that need people to lead and facilitate them and also have some decision making capabilities. Also, in faith based communities people are brought together by their common beliefs so they tend to share a sense of common purpose. There are six factors on the resilience wheel that are important for a community to promote. The first factor is high expectations, faith based communities typically have dogma and moral guidelines that outline the expectations for members of that community. The second factor is meaningful participation; vital aspects of belonging to a faith community include attending services and participating in volunteer opportunities, these help to promote a sense of worth and contribution to the earth and spiritual community. The third aspect is pro-social bonding; sharing common beliefs and participating in faith based activities helps to promote social connections. The fourth factor is clear and consistent boundaries; these are set by the rules and dogma of the faith and give members a sense of what is expected from them and guidelines to live by. The fifth factor is life skills; participating in community organized events and volunteer efforts can provide members with vital skills that can be used in everyday life. The last factor is caring and support; belonging to a faith community provides members with a network of people to which they may turn to in hard times for comfort and advice. If a faith community provides all of these factors to its members, it will help them become resilient and empowered individuals.
" What role in your opinion faith communities can play in empowering their members and developing resilience?"
Faith communities can play a major role in empowering their members and developing resilience. By encouragement and motivation faith communities can positively impact the members of its community. From what I learned this week, the six wheel factor is a great tool in helping to empower. By using the six factors of the wheel; high expectations, pro social bonding, meaningful participation, clear and consistent boundaries, life skills, and support and caring, faith communities are able to empower their members.
By empowering, faith communities are also developing resilience. Resilience is defined as the answer to questions of how things change and persist at the same time. Empowering also allows members and the communities to use the three properties that link with resilience. Being able to withstand shock, adapt to change in circumstances, and transform to different ways of life when the current way isn't feasible any longer. Being able to posses the three properties allows for determining how well a person will be able to recover from shocking events or downfalls in life.
If faith communities can empower its members and develop resilience, the community will then feel supported in any given situation.
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Faith based communities are able to play a huge role in empowering their members and developing resilience. Faith based communities create a large feeling of belonging, which I think can have a impact on the level of empowerment that member feel that they have.
One big way that faith based communities are able to empower their members, is they provide a platform for one to improve themselves on. When a member of a faith based community is given the tools to get a new job, or they are able to take care of their children in the way they always wished they could, that itself is empowering. You are giving someone back the power that they always should have had in their lives. You are giving the elements needed to develop and improve themselves to help their friends and family do the same. Instead of just providing a service of giving away different items that one may need, they are able to empower them by having them be able to go into the world and control their own destiny instead of living day to day wondering how they are going to survive.
By empowering their members, faith based communities also help to build resilience not only within the organization, but also in the community as a whole. They provide necessary services that allow for coping with different stressful life events that can occur to anyone. By providing a support system, a member has somewhere that they are able to turn to for help to better develop resilience for whatever may come next.
I also think a large role in faith based communities is the role of a higher power. The majority of people believe in some kind of higher power and faith communities share ways to lean on that faith to help improve coping mechanisms. A lot of people, especially people who are going through extremely difficult circumstances, find it very helpful to rely on a higher power. It provides a sense of hope and reassurance for the future that people without resilience are often lacking. It also allows them to believe in themselves more knowing that whatever their higher power may be, that they have a plan for them to succeed in some way, everyday.
Resilience allows a person to cope and bounce back from adversity. Throughout life we are often taught to avoid stress in our lives, which does not teach an individual how to be resilient. When a person has resilience, they are able to get through or deal with the different stressors we are presented with throughout our lives. Teaching resilience and its protective factors are extremely important because the adversity and stress we experience in life is unavoidable. Faith communities can play a large role in teaching or giving a person resilience.
There are many ways faith communities empower their members and encourage them to develop resilience. Faith communities are often strong groups that offer individuals a sense of belonging and set of values and morals in which they live their lives by. On this alone, a person's faith community influences many parts of their lives. Every faith community offers a support system for its members to be a part of and fall back on. A strong sense of belonging to a community is important for people to be empowered. In one video in our forum this week, Professor Sir Michael Putter discusses how important relationships are to us. The sense of belonging to a group alone can help an individual develop resilience. A faith community can also be a big part of a person's life when they are experiencing adversity in their lives. It is usually at low points in an individual's life when they turn to religion. Faith communities are excellent when it comes to being there for their community during times of distress.
Another way faith communities can directly help their members develop resilience is through the material that is discussed during worship, mass, etc. The priest, pastor, rabbi, or whoever is speaking can talk about protective factors (qualities within an individual that help them bounce back from adversity) and how people can use them in their daily lives. Many of the topics discussed in my faith community growing up allowed me to develop resilience. For example I specifically remember the priest talking about patience one day, which I believe is a factor that can help a person develop resilience. Church's and many other faith communities also have group meetings or things such as Bible school for young children that help them develop resilience or become empowered. These programs can focus on situations that often happen to young people and give them certain coping skills they can use allowing them to become resilient. Many young children are empowered by learning these things from one another in a fun way. Encouraging people at a young age is an important part of individuals developing resilience.
Yet another way faith communities can empower their community is through the charity work they do. Often by helping others or seeing what others are going through, we appreciate the things we have in our lives. This can be used as a coping method because when we become stressed out or exposed to adversity, we can learn to remember that others throughout the world have it much worse than we do. I believe faith communities do a good job in empowering their community and inspiring them to develop resilience.
Faith Communities play an important role in empowering theirmembers and developing resilience. The faith community reaches out withawareness in every aspect when it comes to getting the community involved insupport for causes locally and Nationwide. These communities are also an essayway to gain access into participating because they are so readily available andaccepting of the public participation. many faith based communities offerservices to their congregation and special services like counseling servicesfor families, marital counseling, singles etc. There are many aspects ofcounseling available. These communities also can help children that are facingresilience within their families or financial situation - by titles ortemporary places of residence.
I know this project that one of the Church's I used to be amember of in New York city worked on. The church had an actual house about 3stories with 3 separate apartment complexes enough for 3 families to live in.Their project was to help resilient families with young children by housingthem in the apartment temporarily until they were able to get stable and gettheir foundations started again. The church would fund enough money to helpthese families out. This is just an example of what one faith based communitydid, and it was just a local project.
I know that there are many faith based communities out thereworking hard to keep the youth active and help them or their families fromliving a negative lifestyle. To try and take on such a burden is a hard thingto do, but is better than people can get together to empower the helpless andhelp the homeless and less fortunate have a future. When we are talkingabout resilience and getting the youth out of the gutter to help them live apositive future is where faith based communities thrive. many faith basedgroups have special programs for young children. Counseling is offered to speakto a child and encourage and empower them with their future and keep them onthe right path. Activities is another aspect that keeps a child busy andfocused on the positive things rather than the discouraging things they may befacing in their lives at the moment. There are also many programs to help thedisadvantaged with mental illnesses' that put them in the right classes or withthe right people that help to take them on a different path.
Faith based communities are all about bouncing back fromadversary - That is what they promote or at least that is what people think thechurch is about. In all of our forum posts we do discuss faith basedcommunities often - and I would say that is because they are the most widelyaccepting and empowering communities. I know that there are many out there aswell - faith based communities own hospitals, etc... in which they can stillreach out and organizations that still empower and propose change.
I feel as though that the answer to this question is rather obvious. Empowering faith communities is only positive for the community and is hard for me to find anything negative. I myself am a Christian, so I may be biased but as I set my beliefs aside I still find that faith communities are still very effective in providing much for the community. We can see that a lot of community improvement programs are run by a lot of faith communities. Yes, this is a task that does not need a faith community but the unity and feeling of family between the members of each faith community will provide this. I am starting to get off topic but I feel as though the relationship between the Church and its' followers is very important to tangent into the idea of resilience. As we all know or may have experienced, Churches provide emotional refuge for a lot of people. I know, myself included, that this is very effective in building resilience as an individual. When I am emotionally distraught I seek advice from leaders within the community.
I feel as though it is hard for one to deny the emotional support a faith community provides. For those who are atheist may see the idea of a faith community being emotionally supportive is rather irrational. In fact, you might even think that the idea of a god is irrational. But really it doesn't affect you and is always more beneficial to the community. So, I have to say the role of a faith community is very important in the building of resilience in individuals in turn will empower the individuals to help others build resiliency.
Faith communities can play a major role in empowering their members and developing resilience. Faith communities create a strong sense of togetherness for their people and a great support system. Faith communities create teachings about their own religion and the importance of it and why it should be respected and their people should be proud of it. They have many support groups for different types of issues within their religion that help people overcome whatever problems they may be facing as well as feel empowerment through that.
Faith communities create heavy teachings on their own organizations but others as well. They create discussions about different parts of the world and differences that can affect their community or others around them. This helps spead knowledge but also empowers their members on what is right and wrong for their lifestyle, thus creating more resilience against what other communities might feel towards them.
The empowerment and resilience also grows through the support systems they try to lend to their communities that help even recovering alcoholics, or soldiers with PTSD and anything else that is of major concern. As people find support in faith communities and grow, they become more empowered over the issues at hand and have increased resilience towards other parts of their life they may have something negative occurring.
I believe a faith community can empower their members. The best way a faith community can empower their members is positive reinforcement. Like a parent a social work, teacher, a counselor, someone that is often looked up to with a child, when a person is told that they can do something without a doubt they feel more inclined that it is possible. As one of the videos talked about you don't have to remove all the bad things in someone's life, since one, that may be impossible, but try to be the one good thing in that person life. A church can and should be a positive aspect in its member's lives if everything else is negative. Churches should use the time that they have with their members to be positive. To not be a part of the stresses in a members lives but to be a time for relieve. If churches could empower members, members could learn to empower others. This could start a community revolution then a world revolution. They could also express how important it is to help others and that helping others bring you closer to your faith. Also that helping other to persist can help yourself to become a better person and aid in your own resilience against what you don't want in your own life. It also aid in the development in you having even more reasons to persist seeing others do the same as you, overcoming there obstacles just like you have.
Resilience is defined as the bouncing back after having been down. In rural or poor communities we have seen people who have been down on their luck and who society has shun away.By oppressing people we have sentenced them to misfortune. It is time that we make a change and I believe that by acting together with faith communities we can put an end to peoples oppression by empowering them and allow them to join society once again.
As people who seek to help others, faith comunities have the strong values that are needed to help people become resilient. According to the videos communities need to change and prsist all the same time in order to be able to withstand shock. People muct become involved in their communities, and to be honest I can say that my faith communty tries to be a part of the solution to many of the the members of its congregation.
The reading on resilience foucuses on family and on helping the members of the community be able to overcome their past defeats and rejoice in the new life they can have. By helping those leaders in the community help everyone else we are giving power to those in our faith communities to take that bold step which we have all been scared to take.
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