This quote is at the top of the page of OSU, Our Stories Untold: “There is no agony like having an untold story inside you.” - Zora Neale Hurston
Perhaps you know the weight of carrying a secret, or an untold story inside. And perhaps you also know something about the freedom that comes when the secret can be let out, the story told. When you discover that people can know the story, and yet still love and care for you, and even begin to understand, empathize, and offer support. It can make all the difference in accepting it, accepting yourself, and moving on to a better place. It can be like a huge burden has been lifted. It’s like the healing presence of Jesus, who knows us completely, and yet still calls us to be his children.
OSU is an independent network of people who have experienced sexualized violence, and/or who know and love someone who has experienced it. Believing that the harm caused by sexualized violence, especially in communities of faith, needs to end – they have created an online space for untold stories to be told. The founders and directors have a connection to the Mennonite Church, yet we know that sexualized violence is not just a Mennonite problem; it’s a problem in every denomination. The safe web space of OSU is open to all. The purpose is to offer support and to advocate for those who have suffered sexualized violence, and organize to end it in our communities, “lovingly, fiercely, imperfectly, and as best we can".
So what about the CRC, do we have places that are safe enough for untold stories to be told, places where we can feel supported, where difficult conversations can take place, and where healing can begin? An online space is one thing. Real live safe spaces in our congregations are another. Safe Church Ministry longs for the day when our congregations can be safe places for untold stories to be told. And we welcome your ideas about how to create these kinds of spaces. What does your congregation do to create safe spaces, where people feel safe enough to share honest struggles and untold stories?