The Journey Home from War: Veterans’ Storytelling Project Training

The Journey Home from War is a non-partisan, two-day training being offered in April 2017 for faith communities to better welcome, integrate and offer healing outreach to veterans in their local area. The aim is to strengthen the capacity of leaders and organizations to address the needs of veterans and their families, to break cycles of trauma, and to build resilience.

Friday/Saturday, April 7/8, 2017 (Re-scheduled from January)
 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
First Congregational Church of Westbrook, UCC
1166 Boston Post Road
Westbrook, CT 06498

The Journey Home from War program is based on Trauma Resilience training (STAR) developed for the 9/11 aftermath. The STAR training builds awareness of trauma-related injuries and teaches methods of coping and healing. The training is led by Brookfield Institute ( co-founder Rev. Dr. Beverly Prestwood-Taylor, an international trauma healing expert who oversees a team of highly credentialed trainers in conflict transformation, trauma healing, and community building and organization.

This two-day training provides individuals and faith communities with the background and resources they need to create effective outreach ministries to veterans in their local communities. The workshop is designed to assist participants in understanding the journey of healing and will review the basic theory as it applies to experience of veterans and military families including:

  • the effects of trauma on the body, mind and spirit,
  • common responses to unhealed trauma,
  • recognizing the symptoms of traumatic brain injury,
  • insight about coping with moral injury, and
  • new skills and strategies to chart a healing journey.

In addition, participants will learn about the process of coming home faced by all veterans, such as:

  • stages veterans move through as they prepare for deployment and as they return,
  • battle mind: unlearning some aspects of basic training in order to re-acclimate to life with their families, and
  • creating a specific plan to support veterans and military families.

Local congregations are invited to send clergy and/or laity teams (suggested size: 5 people) for $500/congregation. Costs for this comprehensive workshop are being underwritten by the First Congregational Church of Westbrook Ramsey Mission Fund. Other grants are currently being pursued.

For more information, please call or email the Rev. Dr. Jan Gregory-Charpentier, Pastor, First Congregational Church of Westbrook: (860) 399-9367,

How do I register?

Register online

After you register online, send payment to First Congregational Church of Westbrook, 1166 Boston Post Road, Westbrook CT 06498. Payment: $500/congregation. Please make checks out to “First Congregational Church of Westbrook” with “Journey Home from War” on memo line. Pay in full upon registration, please.

Click to see a map of parking areas near the church

Where do I park?

Parking for services at Westbrook Congregational may be found along Norris Ave, around the Town Green, or across Route 1 behind the Fire Department.  Entrances to the sanctuary may be found on the Route 1 side of the building.  Please be sure to use the crosswalks when crossing Essex Road or Route 1.

Is the church handicap accessible?

Yes.   Handicap parking is available at the top of Norris Ave.  To avoid stairs, you must enter the church from Norris Ave away from Route 1.  Follow the signs inside through Fellowship Hall to the Sanctuary.

How can I get more information?

You may call the office at (860) 399-9367.

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