National Center for Effective Mental Halth Consultation First Candle National Center for Cultural Competence Georgetown Center for Child and Human Development


Holding up the mirror - for Clergy

In preparing this curriculum, developers sought input from individual clergy from African American churches. In several instances, these clergy said that there were no problems with families experiencing fetal and infant loss in their communities.

Yet, knowing the current statistics about the inequitable burden of these losses in the African American community, the developers wondered why this tragedy was not evident to some clergy.

Input from family members who have experienced fetal or infant loss revealed that far too many perceived that their losses were invisible within their churches. Their clergy seemed to downplay their losses or be less supportive than they would have hoped.

So the question arose: why would caring and dedicated clergy not see this deep source of pain among the members of their congregations? The answer seems to lie in how upsetting and painful the loss of a pregnancy or an infant is to all of us.

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