Best Materials to Give Overview of Safe Church?

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Hi! I’m new as a coordinator and was wondering what brochures would be best to hand out at our classis meeting to get the delegates to be familiar with Safe Church? I plan to start slowly as to not overwhelm the churches. Any advice?

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Thanks so much for asking this question Annie! (You are on my list of people to get back to, but as you know from previous experience, it sometimes requires patience for a response from Safe Church; we tend to keep pretty busy). Perhaps others have this same question, so this is a good place for me to respond to you, and perhaps assist others as well. So, again, thanks for asking!

 

Here are the items, with links, that we tend to recommend for those just getting started:

Our Safe Church brochure, which is available free of charge in three languages, Korean, Spanish and English. Note the vision for Safe Church and the five guiding goals for our ministry.

Another is Ten Ways to Make Your Church a Safer Place (very sorry, only in English at this point) This one is free up to the first 9 copies, and it gives churches ideas for what they could be doing to help prevent abuse and to respond to it in helpful ways.

We also have several half-page flyers or bulletin inserts, each featuring a different topic. So, if there is a certain topic that is of greater interest, or is a current focus, these make great hand-outs at a classis meeting. The one called, Is it Abuse? and The Healing Path feature some good general information about abuse and it's impacts. One on child abuse is also very helpful as often the first place churches begin with safe church is creating policies to protect children and youth (the most vulnerable among us) All of these, as well as others are available here free of charge (some have been translated into Spanish, very sorry, no Korean at this point - if you would like to help us with Korean translation, let us know - it's not just the words, it's the concepts and culture along with the power dynamic operating in abuse that must all be considered. It's not an easy translation.)

Finally, we have our new resource Responding to Abuse: A Toolkit for Churches, which works well online with live links to other information. It is also available in a hard copy booklet.

Just getting started? I'd stick with the brochure for your first classis meeting; there is enough there. And maybe pass around the Ten Ways Document (in a page protector), as something that each church could order for themselves. That seems to me a good place to start. And don't forget that you can contact us by phone or email at anytime for additional assistance, that's why we're here. We love these kinds of questions! (Much better than the questions we get after a situation of abuse.) So, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Congratulations on your new position as a Safe Church classis coordinator; it is my hope and prayer that your work will bear fruit within the churches in your classis.

The CRC Safe Church Ministries has a webpage titled About Safe Church Ministry. You can find many resources there. These might be what you are looking for:

*Safe Church Ministry: A Church Leader's Role:A user-friendly guide to what you need to know about Safe Church Ministry, including information about the dynamics of abuse, the harm done, the needs of those who have been affected, and helpful ways to respond. (long-ish 16 pages)

*Safe Church brochure (short, precise, colorful, and FREE)

Shalom

Participant

God's Blessings in your large task. It was 9 or 10 years ago that i started on the safe church (abuse prevention) initiative. I often compare Abuse prevention to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Province Ontario) as it is all about policy and procedures, followed up with tons of documentation and training. Initially this can seem overwhelming, but it becomes part of the culture and expectation of providing a safe environment. There is a lot of very good information and training available (Ontario).  Much has been written lately on the Network about various 'situations', and yet little is shared around training and signing off on expected activities and behaviors. Leaders in the church have the responsibility to protect the vulnerable, but maybe as important, is protecting the staff and the volunteers. All 3 groups must be protected .... I would encourage you to raise the legal, moral, and Christlike responsibility in creating a safe environment for all.  

PS. If you are in Ontario, feel free to be in touch, and I'll flood you with ideas, videos, and documents.  Fred@Bennink.ca

 

Participant

Thanks Fred! Safe Church is so thankful for the wealth of information that you know and your willingness to share.