Sixteen lay leaders and eleven pastors earned national certification for Critical Incidence Stress Management (CISM) after two full days with Trainer Dennis Potter on November 14-15 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Indianapolis. These 28 members of the Indiana District are not only certified, but also have committed to serving on Indiana District’s Critical Incidence Response Team (IN-CIRT). They have pledge to serve if possible, when alerted to an invitation by a congregation or school to assist them at the time of a “critical incident”.
Just what is a critical incident? It is any event that negatively affects congregation or community members. Examples are…
- Death of a church worker, student, or even a pastor’s wife.
- Significant traumatic event involving children
- Multi-casualty accident or incident
- Weather-related disaster
- Loss due to fire, theft or crime
- Knowing the victim of an event
- A prolonged incident with loss
- Excessive media interest
- Any locally significant event causing trauma or serious change in life functioning
What will members of an IN-CIRT team do?
When requested by the local pastor or representative of a congregation, team members will
- provide a trained caring presence to listen to people in need.
- encourage adults and children to verbalize trauma and stress reactions.
- promote recovery and well-being of victims, staff, rescue workers and families.
- help the pastor restore trust, hope, community and health.
- use both individual and group settings as appropriate.
- receive and relay essential information.
- identify needs for follow-up or make referrals for additional assistance.
What will members of an IN-CIRT team NOT do?
- They will not provide personal therapy.
- They will not do extensive personal counseling.
- They will not stay for an extended period of time.
- They will not replace the pastor or local first responders.
How is a Team activated when there is a critical incident?
The pastor, principal, preschool director, DCE or an authorized lay leader can start the process with a phone call 24/7.
- Phone the Indiana District during office hours at 1.800.837.1145, ext. 2208 or 2204.
- All other times, phone Dave Ebeling, Assistant to the President, at 812.322.6503 or Pastor Rick Boshoven at 219-669-0877.
All IN-CIRT members will be notified ASAP of the request and will be asked to consider if they can rearrange their schedules to respond. The number of responders will be determined by the nature of the incident and the availability of volunteers to respond on short notice.
These are the current certified IN-CIRT members (photo taken outside of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church):
Anderson, Rev. Tim – Interim, Fort Wayne
Beck, Rev. Chris – Faith, Bloomington
Boshoven, Rev. Rick – Trinity Memorial, Merrillville
Brauer, Rev. Ron – St. John’s, LaPorte
Bulmahn, Jill – Cross Connections, Fort Wayne
Driver, Rev. Steve – Immanuel, Valparaiso
Easterday, Rev. David – Lake George Lutheran Chapel, Fremont
Ebeling, Carol – Faith, Bloomington
Ebeling, Dave – Faith, Bloomington
Edwards, Rev. Eric – Faith, Bloomington
Engwall, Vicar John – Prince of Peace, Martinsville
Ensley, Terri – Redeemer, Louisville
Gibson, Celia – Grace, Columbus
Godsey, Jule – Cross Connections, Fort Wayne
Hauter, Rev. Bob – St. Paul, Kouts
Hille, Lana – Emmanuel, Fort Wayne
Janssen, Rev. Nathan – Prince of Peace, Martinsville
Prophete, Jennifer – Faith, Bloomington
Robb, Jen – Cross Connections, Fort Wayne
Rodriguez, Rev. Jimmy – Immanuel, Seymour
Seifert, Pamela – Cross Connections, Fort Wayne
Sherman, Elizabeth – Cross Connections, Fort Wayne
Ungrodt, Rev. Richard – Prison Chaplain, LaPorte
Wagener, Brenda – Trinity, Indianapolis
Wagener, Rev. Ken – Trinity, Indianapolis
Whitsett, Dcs. Margy – Our Savior/Resurrection, Louisville
Wickert, Rev Gary – St. John’s, Farmer’s Retreat
Younghans, Gary – Cross Connections, Fort Wayne