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CWS FaithandValues.com Web Cast Dec. 10 to Explore
'A Time to Heal: Lessons from Oklahoma City'

Session streamed live on www.faithandvalues.com
Monday, December 10, 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Available subsequently on demand.  Click on "Today's News,"
then search for Church World Service for links to past Web casts

December 5, 2001 – In a strange, almost perverse kind of way, the people of Oklahoma City have an advantage over just about everyone else in America when it comes to dealing with the shock and horror of September 11. In a sense, they'd already been through it.

There's no sensible way of comparing the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building and its 168 casualties with the loss of the World Trade Center towers and their thousands of victims. But the intensely personal impacts caused by these tragedies follow a similar pattern, and in the past six years many of those most affected by the Oklahoma City blast have come farther on the road to healing than they could ever have imagined possible.

At the same time, professional caregivers – psychologists, counselors and ministry professionals -- have learned some vitally important lessons about how to help people cope with overwhelming grief. Now, Church World Service, a broadly based relief agency, will provide people throughout the country the chance to hear from the Oklahoma City community and their attempt to fashion a new understanding of life together after their own terrorist experience.

Three caregivers – an author and grief counselor, a psychologist and former president of the Murrah Building Survivors Association, and a police chaplain – will share their insights in a live Web cast on the interfaith Web site FaithandValues.com. Church World Service is sponsoring the Web cast as part of its commitment to providing pastoral care resources in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Panelists include:

  • Paul A. Heath, a psychologist in private practice, was Psychologist and Officer in charge of the Veterans Administration office in Oklahoma City from 1968 to 1999. He helped to form the Murrah Building Survivors Association and served as its president from 1995 to 1998. The Air Force association named Dr. Heath the Department of Veterans Affairs Employee of the Year for his "selfless actions and compassion" following the bombing.
  • Doug Manning is the author of Don't Take My Grief Away From Me and When Love Gets Tough. He became a full-time writer, lecturer and counselor in 1982 after an earlier career in ministry. He has conducted professional development seminars and community bereavement conferences after the Oklahoma City bombing, shootings in Jonesboro and Ft. Worth, and after the September 11 attacks. Most recently he was a keynote speaker at the World Gathering on Bereavement held in Ohio in July.
  • Jack Poe is the Chief of Chaplains for the Oklahoma City Police Force. Dr. Poe was one of several Oklahoma City chaplains asked to take charge of pastoral care in the New York City morgue set up after the September 11 bombings. He had been at the Murrah Building in within 15 minutes of the bombing and began coordinating ministry efforts there. Six years later, as a member of the Critical Incident Working Group, a program funded by the U.S. department of justice, Dr. Poe continues to provide care for victims of the Murrah bombing.

Broadcast journalist Arthur Cribbs Jr. moderates the panel. Mr. Cribbs, a former executive director of the United Church of Christ's Office of Communication, is now pastor of the Christian Fellowship Congregational Church in San Diego and the President of Pacific Media Ministries in San Diego.

Anyone who still struggles to come to terms with the attacks or to cope with their effects on themselves or their families will benefit from hearing the stories and practical insights of the panelists. Clergy, lay leadership, caregivers and professionals, in particular, will receive sharpened tools to help others deal with the fear; isolation and grief related to the September 11 attacks.

This last of four Church World Service Web casts on the theme Tragedy and Spiritual Care. Earlier Webcasts include:

  • Everyday Heroes (originally webcast November 19, 2001), an examination of the sources and motivations for heroic acts performed without warning or preparation by common citizens.
  • Faith in America after 9/11 (originally webcast October 22, 2001), focusing on the expanded role of faith in public life since the September 11 attacks.
  • Tragedy and Spiritual Care (originally webcast September 30, 2001), focusing on the need for long-term pastoral and emotional care.

All the Web casts are available for on-demand viewing at www.faithandvalues.com.

FaithandValues.com is an inter-faith Web site supported by mainline faith groups representing 200,000 congregations with a combined membership of more than 120 million Americans. Additionally, it offers Web site development and hosting and provides streaming audio and video services. For more information, call 859-422-0425 or visit the Web site at www.faithandvalues.com.

Church World Service works in more than 80 countries to meet human needs and foster self-reliance. CWS works on behalf of the National Council of Churches and its 36 Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox communions in the U.S., in programs of social and economic development, emergency response, assistance to refugees, education and advocacy, and ecumenical relationships. For more information, call 1-800-297-1516 or visit the Web site at www.churchworldservice.org.

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