Did you know that Abuse Awareness Sunday has been designated on the fourth Sunday in September? It’s not too early to begin planning how your church can participate. The attached letter has already gone out to all CRC congregations.
The selected focus topic this year is Circle of Grace, an excellent program that teaches children and youth respect for themselves and for one another by honoring the sacredness of all relationships. In addition, the program offers tools to help children and youth determine if a situation is safe, and what to do when something feels unsafe. We can’t be with our children all the time; Circle of Grace helps keep them safe wherever they are, not just at church. In addition, the comprehensive program helps build church communities where the value of each person is honored and all are free to worship and grow, free from abuse.
This is more than a “special offering” Sunday. It’s an opportunity to bring an issue out into the light that too often remains hidden. A problem can never be solved by ignoring it, or pretending it doesn’t exist. Abuse thrives in silence and secrecy; we must not allow it to thrive in our churches.
So, we encourage you to take this opportunity to shine the light of our Lord into this dark place. Our Lord can bring truth, hope, and healing when we let the light shine. Abuse awareness resources are available, not just about Circle of Grace, but on other topics as well. Find bulletin inserts, worship resources, and information, too.
What will work best to raise awareness in your church? Perhaps using the bulletin inserts offered (also available in Spanish), setting up an information table, showing one of our short videos, using the attached PowerPoint slide, introducing your safe church team so everyone knows who they are, or take an offering for Safe Church, for the Classis Coordinator or the General fund. In addition, you may choose to use the powerful litany that addressed abuse of power and was a part of worship at Synod 2019.
With the good work started at Synod this year, Safe Church is working with other agencies as well as coordinators and team members at the classis and congregational levels. Safe church ministry needs you, leaders in local churches, for effective work in abuse awareness, prevention, and response.
Remember that Safe Church staff is available to help with any plans or materials for Abuse Awareness Sunday 2019 – please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Note: If September 22 doesn’t work for you, feel free to choose another Sunday that works better.
Blessings to you,
Bonnie Nicholas, Safe Church Director
Eric Kas, Safe Church Associate