shout whisper of praise
A few months ago I was sitting in the Quinte Classis meeting when it was approved that their classis would financially support the role of a safe church coordinator. Is it appropriate to jump up and down in a sanctuary and cheer? I was not sure. Instead I whispered a quiet prayer of thanksgiving to God. This decision represents an acknowledgement that this role is vital within the church, within classis Quinte, and that this group of churches understands the important, often challenging work that their coordinator will be doing within their region.
So what is the scope of the safe church coordinator’s role?
The safe church coordinator is in charge of equipping and training others who are active in congregational safe church ministry. They advocate within their classis to show that abuse awareness, prevention and response is taken seriously. When a classis chooses to financially support a person in this role, it demonstrates that they understand the true value of this role. Within Thrive, we offer seed grants to classes to initiate hiring for this role with the expectation that the classis will incorporate this financial obligation into their budget in the subsequent years.
Welcoming our new Classis Quinte Safe Church Coordinator: Carolyn Hoekstra
Collectively, Thrive would like to welcome Carolyn Hoekstra into the role of Safe Church Coordinator for Classis Quinte. Carolyn recently retired from a long career at Christian Horizons, one of her roles being to provide training to employees to reduce risk and vulnerability of abuse. She attends Grace CRC Cobourg (and soon First Church, Kingston). She has been active in her church in various positions - council, worship committee and safe church!
Carolyn outlined two significant goals for her tenure as safe church coordinator: updating the classis website to incorporate more safe church resources for churches to use, and consistency across the classis related to training. We are excited to walk alongside her as Thrive to support her as she steps into this role and helps her classis flourish!