Abuse Awareness Event

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An opportunity to share your thoughts about Abuse Awareness coming up in September.

Each year, the third Sunday in September, Safe Church Ministry requests the churches to set aside some part of the worship service to focus on abuse awareness.  In the past few years, we've focussed on abuse through bulletin inserts designed to draw attention to child abuse, domestic violence, and elderly abuse. If you are a church leader or church member reading this blog, what information about abuse would you like to see available?  What is the best format to reach out to you or your church?  If you have some ideas, I'd like to hear from you. 

I'd also like to hear from you if you think Abuse Awareness could be re-styled in some way.  Not everyone appreciates the worship service focussed around a theme, so perhaps you have other ideas for creating abuse awareness.  I've got my ears on!

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Let's Discuss…

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The best way to interface with us is to send an e-mail to our church's e-mail address fellowshipcrc.edmonton@gmail.com with appropriate resources pasted on the e-mail. Items such as short well worded litanies, and careful selection of songs would enable us to incorporate that into our worship service. The e-mail should arrive at least three weeks before the appropriate Sunday.

We do not like to use bulletin inserts or other paper based items intended for each member.

Thank you, Fellowship CRC, those are clear and helpful ideas. I think offering a "cafeteria" of resources allows each church to pick what works best in their setting. I'll keep your suggestions at hand as we begin planning for Abuse Awareness.

I would like to suggest that the Abuse Prevention Team create a video about some "success" stories. We are constantly hearing the same information about the importance of doing thorough screening, proper procedures, etc. Are there any stories of success where someone who was abused has come to experience healing through the work of their church's Abuse Prevention Team? I know abuse is never a happy story, but healing ought to be.

Thank you for the great suggestion. If a person in your local church or community has a story of healing or restoration that he or she will share, that story becomes a powerful witness to other people who have been abused and to the general church member who may be unaware of how abuse impacts a person's life. Are you thinking of a 3-minute video to be shown during a worship service? Perhaps through these blog comments, someone may be encouraged to begin a journey of disclosure that could be shared with the broader church.

Participant

I've been thinking about this Sunday and wonder if we could focus on what makes a church healthy, so that it prevents abuse. Healthy individuals, families, church communities decrease the likelihood of abuse. Isn't that prevention also. It brings a more positive attitude the whole discussion and empowers people with things they can DO rather than don't do.

Community Builder

I really like the idea of focusing on the positive! I'm convinced that abuse would be much less in the context of healthy relationships. What makes a relationship good? Mutual respect, value, dignity, etc. Open, honest communication also comes to mind; safe places for people to be real with one another and share real struggles in life. Since the fall in the garden of Eden, we've been hiding from the Lord and from each other. Anything that promotes openness and honesty in our relationships is a good step toward prevention.  

Here's a couple ideas for Abuse Awareness Sunday -
1) Create a short article for churches to publish in their monthly newsletter the month before the Sunday or of the Sunday. The material for this article could be about the same as would have been on a bulletin insert. The article could be sent to churches via their email address. The church newsletter editor could add a few sentences about what the church is doing on Abuse Awareness Sunday. This method would conserve paper (by not using a bulletin insert) and would reach all church members in time to anticipate the theme Sunday.

2) Change Abuse Awareness Sunday from September to October or April. In the US, October is Domestic Violence Month, and April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

What do others think?

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