Safe Church Ministry  |  July 2019
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Synod 2019 Addresses the Abuse of Power

Last year, Synod 2018 appointed a small team to bring recommendations regarding how the CRCNA can “address the patterns of abuse of power at all levels of the denomination”. That team brought a full report to this years synod (you can read that report in the supplement to the agenda here, with the specific recommendations on page 12 and on page 50-78). Synod 2019 then voted and adopted motions very similar to that original report, which include: developing a training for pastors on abuse of power, creating a code of conduct, and a whole host of other systems to address abuse of power throughout all levels in the CRCNA, all of the adoptions can be read here.

Abuse Awareness Sunday - Sept. 22, 2019!

A problem can never be solved by ignoring it, or pretending it doesn’t exist. Abuse thrives in silence and secrecy and we must not allow it to thrive in our churches. Abuse Awareness Sunday gives us the opportunity to shine a light on abuse, which too often remains hidden among us. Safe Church has resources for you - now is the time to begin planning how your church will participate.

Why Safe Church Teams?

The primary work of safe church ministry happens at both the congregational level and the classis level. Policies to prevent abuse, walking alongside those who have been impacted by abuse, and building awareness for greater ministry effectiveness; none of that happens best from a small central office in Grand Rapids. It depends on YOU, local safe church teams in each congregation, along with support from a classis safe church team. Safe church teams in all of our CRC congregations, and in each classis are a key part of preventing abuse and creating communities where the value of each person is honored.

Safe Church Ministry Turns 25!

Birthdays and anniversaries deserve celebrations. They offer a time to reflect, to look back as well as to look forward. These two articles can help us consider where we’ve been and where we are going, as we celebrate and honor 25 years of Safe Church Ministry! (Note: formerly known as the Office of Abuse Prevention). One, Reflection, is written by the founding director, Beth A. Swagman and one, Back to the Future, by the current director, Bonnie Nicholas.

Partners in Prevention: The Reformed Church in America (RCA)

The CRC is not the only denomination taking action surrounding issues of abuse. Our brothers and sisters in the RCA have recently produced a set of resources for addressing sexual assault in worship. Many churches shy away from speaking about sexual assault because they are afraid of saying the wrong thing, of reopening painful wounds, or making people uncomfortable. Our silence sends a message to those who have experienced sexual assault that their stories and their pain do not belong in worship. Yet when we address sexual assault and abuse with care, worship can be both an agent of healing in Christ and a powerful voice for ending sexual harassment, abuse, and violence.


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