A Shared Mission of Healing

Grand Rounds: Barefoot Guide on Healing Congregations

Jan 9, 2023 | Grand Rounds



Healing Congregations: Nurturing Love, Life and Hope in a Hurting World.”

Wednesday, January 25 at 9 am ET
Download Guide Free HERE


Join Zoom Meeting HERE

Meeting ID: 839 9086 6312

Passcode: 893130


Please join us on Zoom  for a combined FaithHealth Grand Rounds on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023 at 9 a.m. ET/8 a.m. CT, sharing about the newest Barefoot Guide offering, “Healing Congregations: Nurturing Love, Life and Hope in a Hurting World.”  Using the Barefoot Guide writing/writeshop process, led by masters of the craft, Doug and Beulah Reeler of South Africa, and under the powerful leadership of Kirsten Peachey from Advocate Health in Chicago and Emily Viverette at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in Winston Salem, NC, a large group of us (The Love, Life, and Hope Writers Collective) have worked to share our stories and vision/create a resource for congregations,  nurturing hope and healing in the midst of hard times. What emerged is a remarkable collection of amazing, personal stories–poignant, powerful, and prophetic stories that speak to both woundedness and resiliency of human beings and faith communities.

This book is designed to help ourselves and faith communities to better see, share and connect to their own resourcefulness, their God-granted resilience and practices around theology, congregational and community life. Plus, it’s downloadable for free,  at this link which is part of the Barefoot Guide philosophy of transparently sharing resources and wisdom. ​The stories in this book are personal and particular. The stories emerged out of our dialogue over months. But they may be the kind of stories alive among the people you gather with already. Not everyone is ready at the same time, so you may consider inviting some part of your congregation that may hear your invitation to dialogue as good news. They may be surprised to learn that their presence might be part of the healing of another. In creating healing space for others, we find space for our own healing.

Although the focus on this congregational resource is primarily Christian, we invite faith communities of all types to use the book to help themselves and their members, and hope it will be useful to all.  We are most proud that an adult child of one of the editors, who has always foresworn traditional “church” or religion remarked, after reading the book, that, “Well, I could be this kind of Christian.”

Douglas Reeler

Doug has been working for over thirty-five years in the social development sector, mostly in Southern and East Africa, as a social change process facilitator and activist.

He accompanies people and organizations to discover and deepen their purpose, voice and role and from there, to deepen their practice. For him, the challenge is to support people to value and learn from their own experiences and each other, to unlock their creativity and find unusual strategies and humanly sustainable paths forward. In the process, they are supported to reveal the enormous and hidden resourcefulness in the diversity they have and to see and explore the choices that are available to them. And then to find the courage to act. This often involves dealing with fear, self-doubt and self-hatred, helping to make power and privilege visible and to include people as equal human beings in civic life.

Practically, Doug involves himself in the co-design and facilitation of processes of collective horizontal action learning, participatory action research, strategic reviews and the collective writing and publication of practice guides and case studies (most strongly manifest in the Barefoot Guides).  Doug acts from the understanding that action learning is in the DNA of adaptive or emergent processes of change and that collective horizontal learning and unlearning processes often provide the best foundations for purposeful, collaborative working processes and initiatives.

He also has a strong focus on supporting the agroecology movements in Africa, like The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, which, in his judgment, provide key approaches for communities in Africa to face the climate emergency. He works with colleagues in Tamarind Tree Associates and the Barefoot Guide Connection. Email:

Beulah Tertiens-Reeler

Over a span of 35 years, Beulah has been a high school English teacher, a Waldorf class teacher and a Waldorf B.Ed Lecturer and a school mentor. In her work with teachers and students, her focus has been on imaginative and joyful approaches, encouraging practitioner health and vitality, and developing creative and holistic approaches to build harmonious and happy classrooms. In semi-retirement, she now finds herself teaching a small group of 9-year-olds in a little cottage school in the picturesque village of Greyton where she lives. As a teacher, she is particularly drawn to working with stories, art, handcrafts, movement and songs to meet the needs of the child. This is what inspires her.

She is also part of the Barefoot Guide Connection Writing School. They facilitate Writeshops and take organisations through the process of developing their own Barefoot Guide. She has been involved in seven of the twelve Barefoot Guides which have now been produced. She has a Master in Higher Education Studies (UCT), a Waldorf Teacher Diploma (CCE), a B.Ed ​and a B.A. H.D.E (UWC). In 1999,  she was part of a group of educators who participated in a Fulbright Scholarship on Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) in Ohio, USA.

Rev. Kirsten Peachey, MSW, MDiv., DMin.

Vice President, Faith Outreach, Advocate Health, Midwest Region, Kirsten Peachey serves Advocate Health Midwest as Vice President for Faith Outreach, leading partnerships with faith community stakeholders and affiliated denominational sponsors. Kirsten contributes nationally to the field of faith and health and is known for convening and growing collaborative networks to solve for the root causes of health inequities. She was a founder of The Center for Faith and Community Health Transformation, a collaborative effort to work alongside faith communities to address the social conditions that impact community health. She also worked with partners to convene the Chicagoland Trauma Informed Congregations Network to equip faith communities to respond to trauma and adversity in the community with restorative, healing centered ministries.

Under Kirsten’s leadership, Advocate Health Midwest has become a trailblazer in the field of faith and community health, particularly in engaging faith communities as partners in promoting health equity. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, Kirsten holds Doctor of Ministry and Master of Divinity degrees from the Chicago Theological Seminary and a Master of Arts in Social Work degree from the University of Chicago.

Rev. Dr. Emily Viverette

Rev. Dr. Emily Viverette is an ordained minister affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Emily is a graduate of Elon University (B.S.), Vanderbilt Divinity School (M.Div.) and Hood Theological Seminary (D.Min.).  Emily served as the Director of CPE at Alamance Regional Medical Center before joining the faculty at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in 2009.  She is a Certified Educator with ACPE, Inc. and Director of FaithHealth Chaplaincy & Education.

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