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This past month, Safe Church Ministry staff gathered online with people from around the denomination to discuss Scot Mcknight and Laura Barringer’s book: A Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture That Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing (for more about the book, see our July webinar with the authors). Together, we talked about the sad reality that our churches have been places where abuse and misuse of power have gone unchecked.  We lamented alongside some of those gathered that had witnessed abuse within their own churches and were struggling to understand not only how it could happen but also how to work towards healing.

This book offers the roadmap to cultivating a church focussed on TOV - the goodness that God had originally designed for His people. Together, we learned a new way forward for our church communities - how to be a community that is characterized by servant leadership, empathy, grace, and Christ-likeness in the way we conduct our life together. This is a significant shift from traditional hierarchical approaches to church, but it is a shift that can make us healthier communities that resist abuse and more open to what God has to teach us through each other.

After six weeks coming together to connect, often to lament, and to find pathways towards hope, many of us left with a renewed sense of anticipation of what God can do when we welcome Him into our congregations and focus our attention on him.

—Becky Jones, Editor

Save the Date

Save the Date! November Safe Church Webinar with Beth Allison Barr

Where do the ideas about womanhood that have long circulated in the evangelical Christian community come from? Are they biblical? In this webinar, Amanda and Elaine will talk with Beth Barr about her new book, The Making of Biblical Womanhood and discuss what the Bible does and does not say about women and women’s roles. They will also reflect together on the impact ideas about biblical womanhood have had on women and abuse in the church. Join us Wednesday, November 17th at 12pm Eastern.

Register today

December Webinar Announced!

December Safe Church Webinar:
Ways of Creating a Culture of Goodness

This is the Seventh webinar of the 2021 Series: On Being a Safe Church! In these webinars, we have been hearing from a variety of people that have been inspiring us to wonder together at how best we can create healthy and safe cultures in our congregations and communities. On Wednesday December 8th at 12p Eastern, this webinar will feature conversation with a panel of CRCNA Justice Ministries Staff talking about ways of forming cultures of goodness.

Register today

Save the Date

Is Your Decision-Making Process Fair? 2 Questions Every Council Must Ask Before Deciding (Part Two)

This article reflects on the second of two important questions councils should consider when making a decision.  The first question is “are we listening to God?”  The second question is “Is the decision-making process fair?”  Both questions are important to help wise leaders avoid abusing their power and securing the trust of their congregations.

Learn More Here!

Inspiring Gifts

Video Gift Catalogue

As we approach the holiday season, consider a unique gift for your family. The CRCNA has developed a gift giving guide where you can contribute a specific amount to further a ministry’s work. Safe Church Ministry is asking for a gift of $50. This contribution will go directly towards our ongoing webinar series, offering training and support in the area of abuse awareness, prevention, and response.

Donate Today!

What We Do

Safe Church Ministry: What We Do

Safe Church ministry provides a number of services and resources to our church communities. In an effort to help churches understand the scope of our work and to enable you to easily connect to our team members, we have created this overview for you. We encourage you to explore the many ways that we can offer support to your community.

Learn More


16 Days of Activism

16 Days of Activism - An Inter-agency Collaboration

16 Days of Activism is World Renew and the CRCNA's inter-agency collaborative campaign (including Safe Church) against Gender Based Violence. We welcome you to join a series of learning events as well as journey with us across the globe through the 16 Days Advocacy Guide we will be launching on November 23, 2021.

Learn More

Safe Church Ministry has added an important feature to our website - a new hotline phone number. This number will enable you to reach the Safe Church team directly. If you have concerns about a situation of abuse, call 1-877-272-6206.  We are here to support you!

Monthly Update

Abuse of Power

When the COD met in June 2021 in lieu of Synod, it instructed the Executive Director to make recommendations to the COD for improving the appeal process. The context for the mandate was a concern that the appeal process as described in Church Order Article 30a isn’t particularly well-suited to deal with cases involving allegations of abuse. In response, Executive Director Colin Watson appointed a small task force to work on this mandate.

Over the past few months, the task force has met several times and we are making good progress identifying places where the appeal process seems especially weak in effecting a just and compassionate response to allegations of abuse. What has been particularly helpful for our discussions has been hearing from those of you who have been involved in an appeal process regarding allegations of abuse. If you would like to share your thoughts, experiences, and/or ideas, we would certainly welcome your input. In order to facilitate this, Safe Church has set up a google form that will allow you to submit your comments anonymously and confidentially. Alternatively, if you would rather speak with someone about this, feel free to call Amanda Benckhuysen at 616-240-8155. Your voice is important and we want to hear from you!

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.

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