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Safe Church Ministry  |  July 2017
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Safe Church Ministry
Summer Student Intern

Summer is here, and as in the past few summers Safe Church is blessed to have a summer student intern who will be working with us 8-10 hours per week. We’ve asked her to introduce herself.

Hello!

My name is Alyssa Anten, and I am the new Safe Church Ministry summer intern! I am a student at both Western Theological Seminary and Michigan State University earning my Master of Social Work and Master of Divinity degrees through Western's dual-degree program. I will be graduating with both degrees in May 2018, so interning with Safe Church Ministry is a great step towards my future ministry and what God is calling me to! I hope to help churches re-engage in matters of justice and recover a sense of reconciliation and compassion for marginalized and oppressed populations. Helping churches prevent and respond to abuse directly fits this call! I am a West Michigan native and currently live in Grand Rapids, MI. I grew up within the CRC family and am very excited to be working with the denomination. I am eager to have the opportunity to connect with you!

Alyssa’s first day was spent helping us move offices in what’s known around here as the “summer shuffle”. Over 100 people in the building changed offices, most of the moving happened in one day! However, the process of moving in and getting settled is taking a bit longer. If you’re ever in Grand Rapids, stop by to visit us - same building, new location.

crcna.org/safechurch
crcna.org/safechurch

Sept 24, 2017 - Abuse Awareness Sunday – The Sex Industry and the Church

When we hear about sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, or the sex trade – we typically don’t think of our churches. We may think of other countries, or people “out there”. Yet this is a reality that affects all of us, in our own congregations and communities. As followers of Jesus Christ, called to be salt and light in the world, we must take a stand and reaffirm the dignity of all people, created in the very image of God. Find out more about Abuse Awareness Sunday here. If you are a safe church team member (in a congregation or classis context) you should receive a mailing from us soon. If you don’t receive anything and would like to get this annual mailing for Abuse Awareness Sunday, please let us know so that we can be sure that you are on our list. (email bnicholas@crcna.org)

 

Inspire 2017

Safe church ministry only works when we all work together. One way to work together is to get together, and we would love to do exactly that at Inspire 2017: an event put on by the Christian Reformed Church in North America intended to inspire, energize, inform, and pour into the volunteers and leaders in local churches.  Safe Church Ministry will be there. Look for us at our resource table, and also in a workshop called, ‘Breaking the Silence’. The workshop will feature two courageous safe church team members who share their own experience of abuse, and how the response of the church can make all the difference.

Ten Ways to Make Your Church a Safer Place

Wouldn’t it be nice to condense safe church into ten easy steps? We have a new resource that attempts to do just that. You can read about it here. Worship, learning, and faith formation happen best when people feel safe and cared for. But that kind of faith-nurturing environment doesn't just happen on it's own. Who in your congregation is paying attention? Spoiler alert, paying attention is the first step. Discover what the other steps are and find out how many have already been taken in your church. Then consider what the next steps might be for you and for your congregation. Safe Church Ministry is happy to partner with you in all of these "Ten Ways to Make Your Congregation a Safer Place." And if you’d like to make use of this resource in your congregation, please feel free to contact us; we’d be happy to send you some copies free of charge. Or, we can send you a printable version and you may print your own.

Partners in Prevention

Safe Church has moved offices and now is in an area of the building that also includes the Office of Social Justice (OSJ), Race Relations, and Disability Concerns. All of these justice ministries belong together and there is a lot of overlap, as we all seek to build communities that honor the dignity and value of all people. Our work can be difficult as we deal with the hurt and wounds that result from injustice and our fight against it. We can grow weary in the work, and as we walk alongside those who are hurting. We must not neglect ourselves in the midst of it all. This article from OSJ’s “Do Justice” blog about self-care is an important reminder for all of us.

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