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September 2022 Webinar: The Safe Church Basics - Step 4: Practice Being Restorative

For our 2022 webinar series Safe Church went Back to the Basics of abuse prevention, awareness, and response by sharing five steps to becoming a safer church. All of the 2022 Safe Church Basics Webinars can be viewed at under the safer churches playlist. Please "Like" or "Subscribe" to the channel, if you haven't already.

This was the fourth step, focused on the practice of being restorative which happened on September 21, 2022.

The webinar recording can be viewed at our YouTube Channel's Safe Church Basics Playlist here.

This webinar featured a panel of individuals who have been trained to offer trainings in restorative practices for congregations through FaithCARE which consisted of: Eric Kas and Becky Jones as hosts, as well as Liz Tolkamp, Anthony Jansen (of Classis British Columbia Restorative Task Force) and also Rev. Jen Holmes Curran and Rev. Heidi De Jonge. 

We walked through some key defining characteristics of what restorative practices are not --- and what they are (a summary of this can be viewed at this Network Article here: A Shared Langauge of Restorative Practice). We also turned it over to our panelists to answer what drew them and continues to draw them to restorative practice and key ways they are using restorative practices in their context today. 

If you are wondering more about the big questions below, this webinar may be a helpful starting place to further introduce you to restorative practice: 

  • How can congregations practice being restorative while planning for the future, making decisions, and spreading the gospel in a world that sometimes feels like it is falling apart?
  • How can we stay together amidst disagreement?
  • How can the church move forward after change and loss? 
  • Do we have the capacity to listen, stay committed to relationships, take responsibility for actions and respect one another through it all? 

All of this may sound exhausting, but when we take shortcuts in our families, organizations and congregations we often react out of our anxiety which slights relationships, evades responsibility and leads to unhealthy ways of managing institutional and individual shame -- and possibly various levels of harm and abuse due to an improper stewarding of power. This webinar will introduce you to many of the restorative practice trainers in the CRCNA, resources, and opportunities for future training.

In July a group of eight leaders from across North America were trained to become trainers of restorative practices by FaithCARE (Shalem Mental Health Network). The group consists of staff from Safe Church (Eric Kas), Disability Concerns & SCM (Becky Jones), Pastor Church Resources (Sean Baker), Office of Social Justice (Andrew Oppong), Faith Formation (Liz Tolkamp), and pastors and leaders from British Columbia (Anthony Jansen), Grand Rapids (Jen Holmes Curran) and Ontario (Heidi De Jonge). 

In this webinar participants will learn more about restorative practices in faith communities from many of those who have now been trained as trainers. You will also hear about further opportunities for training, including:

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