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In January, we chose the theme, Abuse of Power, as our Abuse Awareness Sunday theme for 2020, knowing that it would also be a theme at Synod in June. But then everything changed. This year, everything is different in the midst of a global pandemic. Instead of our usual annual mailing to churches and to Safe Church Coordinators and volunteers making suggestions about information tables in gathering spaces, and announcements during services, we know that many CRC congregations are meeting virtually, and there are other pressing concerns.

So, instead, we offer different resources, more in keeping with where we find ourselves this fall. Make no mistake, Abuse Awareness remains and important issue, and we hope that many churches will continue to participate in Abuse Awareness Sunday this year.

Since many are in the practice of recording or live streaming Sunday morning worship, please consider sending your Abuse Awareness Sunday litanies and sermons to us at [email protected]. We will plan to share some of these offerings as a resource for future Abuse Awareness Sundays. We can learn from and inspire one another to speak out about abuse and seek the Lord’s grace, justice and healing.

As always, if you would like assistance, or need ideas, contact your Safe Church Coordinator, or feel free to contact Safe Church directly. We look forward to seeing how our churches are working towards the goal of increasing awareness, creating safer church communities, and ending abuse. An email regarding Abuse Awareness Sunday will be going out to churches in early September.

With the challenges due to COVID-19, Safe Church has posted Safe Church amid COVID-19: Resources for Youth Ministry, Social Media, and Online Streaming, as well as other articles with links to resources, to help maintain a safer virtual church environment. If you are interested in our original topic, Abuse of Power, please see the original letter, filled with good resources, attached to this post.

While we have had to shift our ways of working this year, Safe Church has found new and creative ways of connecting in the midst of the isolation and uncertainty. We’re especially proud of our Webinar Series: Connect, Collaborate and Coordinate to End Abuse that helps equip Safe Church Coordinators, ministry leaders and others in our work to prevent and respond to abuse. We’ve also worked hard with others responding to directives of Synod 2019 regarding abuse of power, you can read a brief update here. You will hear more recommendations about abuse of power at Synod 2021. 

Please also consider making a donation in September to support the critical work of Safe Church Ministry. THANK YOU!

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