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Bonnie Nicholas, Director of Safe Church Ministry for the Christian Reformed Church, shared valuable resources, plans and tips to help your church in the June issue of Safe Church News You Can Use.

Abuse Awareness Sunday 

Abuse Awareness Sunday is always the 4th Sunday of September (September 22, 2013). Our topic for this year is the incorporation of returning citizens (ex-offenders) into the life of the church. Start planning now, and don’t forget – we are looking for resources related to this topic!

Also, a webinar proposal on the same topic will soon be available and will need your vote if it’s going to happen. Check The Network soon and vote for “Today’s Lepers in Your Church.” The Network will choose the webinar topics that get the most votes. .

Circle of Grace

Now is the time to think and prepare for next year. Safe Church Ministry still has a few free copies of Circle of Grace available. When those are gone we are planning to subsidize the program and offer it at 50% cost to congregations, which we expect to be $25. This curriculum is one of the most effective tools we have for abuse prevention. Please consider promoting Circle of Grace in your church.

Fall Classis

Please plan ahead to have a Safe Church presence at all classis meetings! Now is the time to get on the agenda for fall meetings in September and October. Let us know how we can help. If you don’t know what to present at a classis meeting, ask and we can help you with ideas. To find out when your classis meets, go to Classis Meeting Dates.

 Tips for Making Classis Presentations:

  • Hand out the Safe Church fact sheet (attached) and briefly highlight what it says
  • Adapt and use one of the power point presentations in the new Safe Church training notebook. (These are available on our website under resources for Safe Church Teams)
  • Engage classis members by having them get in small groups to discuss a Safe Church “situation” (Scenarios are on our website under resources for abuse awareness Sunday)
  • Use a questionnaire to help classis members see the need for Safe Church and discover things that they need to be considering that perhaps they did not know
  • Bring in a guest speaker (for example: (a Safe Church Ministry staff person or representative, a local insurance rep, a therapist, or a child advocate)


I was glad to find this post today in my search for some updated materials on Safe Church. The second bullet points mentions a "Safe Church Training Notebook" and I was able to find the place that has links to the power point presentations (here:, and I also see there are lots of resources like previous bulletin inserts, worship resources, etc., but I'm just sort of wondering where to start with all of this as far as what we should have in our Safe Church Notebook?

Also, a second question, I see that there is a specific topic for this year's Abuse Awareness Sunday in September, but I think we might be in a place where we need to talk about this more generally this year, and was wondering what of the resources you might recommend to meet that need?


In response to your first question: This Network post came directly from the Safe Church Newsletter, which goes out to all classis Safe Church Team members. The Safe Church Training Notebook mentioned is our way of equipping classis Safe Church Team members to be resources to the churches in their classis. The power point presentations, which are on our website, are included in the notebook; however the notebook also includes additional information, handouts, etc. that are not on our website. Since the Safe Church Training Notebook is a relatively new item, not all Safe Church team members have one yet. They have been distributed in places where Safe Church team meetings and training events have taken place. We hope to get them out to all Safe Church team members in time. We also hope that the notebook itself will not remain the same but will grow, by adding additional resources. We are working to create a web space that will be available to all classis Safe Church team members, where notebook resources will be held, so that all classis Safe Church team members will always have the most updated information available to them for their notebooks. If you have additional questions regarding this, please feel free to contact the Safe Church office.

Regarding your second question about general Safe Church resources for Abuse Awareness Sunday - I'm glad you asked! This is a great time to let people know more about Safe Church in general. The topic is there for those who would like to use that topic, but that is certainly not required. On our website, look at the quick links on the right side bar - especially the fact sheet. You can also click on the left sidebar under "What is Safe Church Ministry?" for additional ideas. Also, on the left sidebar under "Resources for Abuse Awareness Sunday" there is a page of general resources that don't correspond to a specific topic. A letter will go out soon to all pastors and to classis Safe Church Team members about Abuse Awareness Sunday - thank you for your interest in doing something at your church. Again, please feel free to contact Safe Church for assistance and for more ideas and resources.


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