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This past month was National Volunteer week (April 17-23 for Americans, April 24-30 for Canadians). In Canada, the theme for this year was Empathy In Action. Volunteer Canada notes: Empathy is a quality that can help people relate to others and build awareness around different experiences. It connects people in ideas and actions and helps create bonds forged in common goals and aspirations.

As a ministry, we have hundreds of volunteers that come together around a common goal of equipping congregations in abuse awareness, prevention, and response. Empathy is one of the components that often drives so many of our volunteers in the work they do for our ministry. As a ministry team, we want to thank all our safe church teams and coordinators who support our vision of one day having a church free from abuse.

"They will live in safety and no one will make them afraid." Ezekiel 34:28

Enjoy this short video by Brene Brown on Empathy.

—Becky Jones, Editor

May Webinar Announced!

May 2022 Safe Church Webinar:
Step 2 Making and Revising Policy

Join us May 18th at 12 pm ET for our 2nd webinar in our Safe Church Basics series. In this webinar, Safe Church Ministry staff will highlight common myths hidden within many abuse prevention policies, share a new model policy, and hear from other leaders about ways they have navigated the tedious task of revising and making policies.

Register Here

March Webinar Recording

March 2022 Safe Church Webinar: Step 1 - Assessing Risk

This webinar features a panel discussing abuse situations that have impacted Christian Reformed Church communities throughout North America. In this webinar we introduce a new tool from Safe Church called the "Safe Church Assessment" which is designed to assess risk, a risk assessment that determines how your church can do better in preventing abuse.

View Recording

Podcast Corner

"Redeeming" podcast conversation

Author Diane Langberg discuses her book Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church (2020) with Justin Bailey and Tara Boer. You won't want to miss this incredibly poignant conversation, steeped in 5 decades of counseling experience. Additionally, check out Dr. Boer's review entitled "The Power Within Us."

View Recording

Join Us At Inspire 2022!

Safe Church Ministry at Inspire 2022 -
Pre-conference and Workshop Descriptions

Join us at Inspire 2022, set to happen in Tinley Park
(a suburb of Chicago, Illinois) from August 4-6, 2022.

On August 4th we will have our Safe Church pre conference
on Being a Safe Church for Ministry Leaders with 2 tracks to choose from:

Abuse of Power Training for Ministry Leaders

Restorative Practices Training: An Introduction to Using
Restorative Circles Effectively

On August 5th we will host the following workshops:

Is Your Church Safe?

Active Bystander Training

The ACE Study: Implications for Ministry

Restorative Circle Practices: Ways to Live
Restoratively in a World Falling Apart

Safe Church Ministry Pre-Inspire Conference, August 4th

Register Today!

Excellent Resource Alert!

Responding to Congregational
Sexual Harassment and Abuse

The MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) has created a guide that explores various ways to support individuals reporting sexual harm, offering intervention strategies in cases where the harm-doer is a fellow congregant.: A Guide for Responding to Congregational Sexual Harassment and Abuse: A Resource from the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).

Explore Resource

Code of Conduct Explored

Resources on the Code of Conduct for Ministry Leaders

This article provides a history on the introduction of the Code of Conduct as well as sites articles that provide further conversation on the importance of the Code of Conduct. A video providing an overview of the code is included to support further exploration of the code of conduct.

Explore Resource

Monthly Update

Abuse of Power

The Power To Do Good (Abuse of Power)Training at
Covenant CRC, St. Catherine’s

On Saturday, April 23, Safe Church staff joined with ministry staff and office bearers from around Classis Niagara and Hamilton to explore “The Power to Do Good: The use and misuse of power in the church.” Throughout the morning, we reflected on the institutional and relational power that ministry leaders and office bearers have in the church, and spent time discerning how we can use our power to support the flourishing of our congregations and those in our congregations. We talked about different ways and reasons ministry leaders might violate the trust that has been given them and misuse their power to bring harm to their congregations. We also talked about what both ministry leaders and council members can do to establish good practices of accountability, self-care, and boundary setting as a way to foster cultures of goodness that resist abuse.

As a denomination, we want our churches to be places that not only prevent abuse but support the healing of those who have been impacted by abuse.  This training for ministry leaders is an important part of this work. If you are interested in participating in such a training, Safe Church staff are willing to come and lead the 3-4 hour “Power to Do Good” workshop in your classis. We are also hosting this workshop at our pre-Inspire 2022 conference in Chicago on August 4, 2022.  Alternatively, for those who would rather take the training online, we have a free, online course available for anyone who is interested in learning more about institutional power and how to use their power for good in the church.

One day, Christ will return to establish a kingdom 
where there will be no more tears or heartache or reason to fear, 
where threats of harm, violence, manipulation, and bullying will cease, 
where justice, truth, and goodness will prevail, 
and where every person, 
regardless of gender, age, color, nationality, or ability, 
will be seen, valued, and loved.

You can help us lean into this hope today.

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This monthly e-newsletter is a ministry of Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Christian Reformed Church in North America
1700 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508-1407
3475 Mainway, Burlington, ON L7R 3Y8

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