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On May 6 the United States recognizes a National day of prayer. This year, in the midst of a pandemic, how are we to pray? So much stability has eroded from underneath us. Grief, sickness, violence, isolation, abuse, and sadness are words that would describe our experiences of the past year. So how do we come to God in the midst of it all? How do string words together right now for our prayers? When I do not have the capacity to form my own sentences before God, I often turn to others walking on this journey beside me. Today, let me share the words of Kate Bowler with you as she offers a simple everyday blessing for us:

blessed are we
when the unsolvable problem comes to mind again,
to turn from it, just for now.
when checking the news one more time seems a good idea,
to let the hands rest and the computer screen go dark.
when the muscles in the body speak their tight reminders,
to listen to them long enough to give them release.
to gentle up the breathing and lower the eyes,
to let ourselves be small again,
wrapped up, and lifted into Your arms o God,
for long enough until the stirrings of enoughness–
enough energy to tend just the little space
that is within reach today.

Excerpt from “a blessing when you need a gentler day” by Kate Bowler

—Becky Jones, Editor

Join us this Wednesday at noon!

May Safe Church Webinar with Dr. Amanda Benckhuysen: Biblical Perspectives on Human Dignity

Director of Safe Church ministry, Dr. Amanda Benckhuysen,  will explore biblical perspectives on human dignity and reflect on what it means to live out this truth in our church life together.

Learn More Here

 

Update! News about our June webinar!

June Safe Church Webinar: On Being Restorative Congregations In the Aftermath of COVID

Join Anne Martin and Mark Vander Vennen from Shalem Mental Health as they share why restorative practices are worth it today and define the following vital aspects of the framework for restorative practices: continuum of practices, practice domains, and the compass of shame.

Learn More Here

 

Worship Resources for Abuse Awareness Sunday 2021

Not Just a Policy, a Way of Being the Church

Abuse Awareness Sunday is the fourth week of every September as listed in the Church Year Resources website. Included in this article are some resources to help you design a worship service around our theme for this year, Safe Church Ministry: Not Just a Policy, a Way of Being the Church .While policies are helpful and necessary tools, they are just one tool to prevent abuse and respond justly to abuse in our congregations. The greatest resources to our congregations are all of us, connected through the Holy Spirit, united to end abuse and care deeply about the well-being and wholeness of persons who are most vulnerable. Safe Church will explore this throughout this year.

Learn More Here

 

Trauma Informed Ministry

Becoming a Trauma-Informed Church

How can churches come alongside and support those who have experienced abuse? What can they do to create safe environments for those who are suffering from trauma? Safe Church Coordinator, Tara Boers, of Classis Iowa, who shared: Why the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study Matters for our webinar series last year, continues our 4-part discussion on responding to abuse in the church. Tara Boer is a certified ACEs instructor, who has taught in the Social Work department at Dordt University for the past 9 years.

Learn More Here

 

Training Ideas for your congregation

Dove's Nest Training Opportunities

Dove’s Nest has provided Circle of Grace Curriculum for many of our congregations. In addition to this, they also provide excellent resources and training for congregations through their website. Make sure to explore all their training ideas which could easily become an excellent addition to your safe church training sessions.

Learn More Here

 

Monthly Update

Abuse of Power

Power and position, like that afforded to ministry leaders, can be used for great good.  It can and has also been used in ways that bring about unspeakable harm.  Recognizing that this is a reality in the Christian Reformed Church, Synod 2019 adopted ten recommendations, proposed by the Abuse of Power committee, to address abuse of power at all levels of the denomination.  Each month, we will update readers on the work Safe Church (and other denominational staff) are doing to implement these recommendations.

An update on Abuse of Power Training:  The first recommendation of the committee was that all pastors receive training in abuse of power. The training is in its pilot phase and is required for all those candidating for ministry in the CRCNA.  To date, about 80% of prospective candidates have gone through this training.  With the feedback we have received, we hope to make some adjustments to the pilot course and begin making the training available to current pastors in the fall. If you are interested in participating in abuse of power training, we’d love to hear from you.  Please indicate your interest by filling in this google form: Abuse of Power Training Sign-Up.

Staying Connected

Follow us on YouTube!

Have you visited our YouTube Channel lately? It’s full of helpful resources for your team! We continue to add more to our channel all the time, so make sure to visit it! Help us reach 100 followers on YouTube today! Subscribe to our channel today!

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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.

Join us in leaning 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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