Safe Church Ministry  |  November 2017
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Announcing 2018 Safe Church Mini-Grants

The strategy of Safe Church is to invest in safe church volunteers across the U.S. and Canada for the day to day work of building safer communities for everyone and preventing the devastation caused by abuse. Offering Safe Church mini-grants is one way that we do that!

Why: To invest in critical safe church ministry in every classis and congregation
Who: Safe church team members or stated clerks of classis
When: Apply before Feb 1, 2018
What: A Safe Church mini-grant can help you bring in a guest speaker for a community event. It can provide materials for safe church training. It can allow team members the opportunity to attend a training event that might otherwise be cost prohibitive. Or, it can help a classis establish a Safe Church Classis Coordinator position.

Take some time to dream with us about how a Safe Church mini-grant might benefit the congregations in your classis. And please read the other articles in this newsletter - you might get some good ideas there! Find out more about Safe Church mini-grants here.

A Safe Church Movement: Let’s Start Dancing!

Four of my grandchildren were baptized on Sunday, Nov 5 (all of them from one family). It was a celebratory “All Saints Sunday” service, ending with the song, “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In.” As people clapped and sang a group of children (and some adults) began to come out of the rows of seats to join hands and dance around the entire room. The numbers grew into a glorious celebration of praise. Movement can start with one person, it can take time for others to join. There comes a “tipping point” when a movement is born. We’re praying for a Safe Church movement to spread among our churches, as we realize how critical it is to our mission to be the community that God is calling us to be, and to work to end abuse and its devastation. Learn more about Safe Church Ministry as a movement by reading Eric’s blog called: Movements, Dancing, and #MeToo: A Call to Stand Up for Radical Healing

Trauma Healing: How the Church Can Help

Trauma Healing may be the next mission field, and the American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute provides a proven way to help us face the hidden wounds caused by various kinds of trauma, including the trauma of abuse. You can read more about one person’s experience with training in Trauma Healing by clicking here. It’s not too late to join the Trauma Healing Initial Equipping event in Ontario this month.  Find out more and register here.

If lack of funds is the only thing preventing you from attending this Trauma Healing equipping event, please contact Safe Church Ministry. Scholarship funds are available.

A Safe Church Story from Classis Yellowstone

Barb Cole traveled from Manhattan, Montana to attend the Safe Church conference in Grand Rapids in Nov. 2016. She was inspired and began talking with others, which led to identifying a need in her community, and envisioning a plan to address it. Perhaps a Safe Church  movement is beginning in Montana. Maybe this story will inspire someone else (consider the mini-grant opportunity). Learn more about what happened in Montana here.

Taking it Seriously

Perhaps… finally… we are turning a corner. Perhaps… finally… those who report sexual harassment and abuse are being taken more seriously. Allegations may have been dismissed in the past, but now people seem to be listening, and action is being taken in response. The attitude in Hollywood and in the sports world may be changing; what about in our churches? How will the Christian Reformed Church process and respond as people are empowered to come forward with allegations, seeking justice and expecting to be heard? It may be time for us to take it more seriously as well. Consider this article posted to The Network by Kathy Vandergrift; or this article, which considers the incredible fallout of powerful people throughout our society who have been accused of sexual assault. Could this be a watershed moment for sexual harassment accusations? Stay tuned to Safe Church Ministry for resources to respond.


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