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Safe Church Ministry comes alongside churches to prevent and respond to abuse.

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Presentation on theme: "Safe Church Ministry comes alongside churches to prevent and respond to abuse."— Presentation transcript:

1 Safe Church Ministry comes alongside churches to prevent and respond to abuse

2 What Does Safe Church Ministry Do? We encourage abuse prevention Safe church policies which affirm the value of all people A nurturing, respectful environment We respond to abuse that has occurred Opportunities to promote healing and wholeness Compassionate justice and accountability

3 Why should my church care about abuse? Because it’s there Though often hidden Because we are all part of One Body Hurt in one part affects the entire body Because the Church is a light to the world Dignity, Honor, Self-sacrificing Love for ALL

4 Because It’s There Child Abuse: Every ten seconds; 90% know perpetrator Sexual Assault: Every two minutes, 248,300 in 2007 Intimate Partner Violence: 2,340 deaths in 2007; 70% female Teen Dating Violence: 10% of students physically hurt in past 12 months Clergy Sexual Misconduct: 3% of adult women attending religious services once a month* *Baylor University School of Social Work Study – 2008 Other stats from US Dept. of Justice

5 Because We are One Body “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” Ephesians 4:16 We need each other, we need each and every part for the whole to function, for the church to grow and become what we are called to be Wounds (like abuse) need to be prevented and attended to for body health

6 A Light to the World “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 We are called to be different from the world around us, as a witness to our Lord A question of power – the way of the world is power over others vs. the way of the Lord is using power to serve others in love

7 How did Safe Church Ministry begin? 1989 – A committee was formed and mandated by Synod to study the problem of abuse 1992 – Calvin College Social Research Center published results of a survey on abuse in the CRC (28% had been abused & 15% had abused someone else) 1994 – Office of Abuse Prevention was created, now known as Safe Church Ministry

8 What’s been accomplished by Safe Church Ministry? 1997 - Present Resources, including books, videos, training materials & a website for online resources Protocols, for responding to allegations of abuse by a church leader Safe Church Policies, in 50% of CRC churches Safe Church Teams, created and trained

9 Safe Church Team, What’s that? Safe Church Teams are a Classis or Regional partner helping to build and sustain healthy congregations by: Providing education to church members about abuse prevention and response Giving support to those who have been affected by abuse Offering the Advisory Panel Process in cases of alleged abuse by a church leader

10 So What Does this Mean? For my Classis or Region Does my classis or region have a Safe Church Team? If not, what are the obstacles? What are next steps? For my church Does my church have a representative willing to serve on a Safe Church Team? Does my church have a safe church policy? If not, what are the obstacles? What are next steps? For me Do I understand the dynamics of abuse to recognize it? Is the Lord calling me to get involved?

11 Is all this really necessary? YES! The work will continue until all of our churches are truly Safe* Every church adheres to a safe church policy Every church follows approved protocols for responding to church leader misconduct Issues of abuse can be freely discussed without shame (it’s OK to talk about it) Leadership at all levels is committed to Safe Church Ministry *Building Safe Church Ministry Conference – 5/2011

12 Where can I get help? The Office of Safe Church Ministry is here to be of service to you! Website – Director – or 616-224-0735; don’t hesitate to contact Bonnie Nicholas, Classis and Regional Safe Church Resources – currently available in some areas, being developed in other areas

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