I am hearing many stories of abuse and grateful to hear reports of healing and transformation!
I mentioned in my first synod blog the anxiety I felt driving to synod and then how it seemed to dissipate with meeting and greeting old friends and colleagues. I felt like the sparrow protected by God's almighty hand. So I'll refer to these synod blogs as the "view from the sparrow's nest".
Synod is often a time when people share stories. When these people discover that there is a Safe Church Ministry, naturally the stories turn to incidents of abuse that people have experienced, have known about, or are in the middle of. Common phrases like "betrayal of trust" and "church became polarized" are repeated as if somehow we are all referring to a text written on how to describe abuse. I find that when people have similar phrases and words to describe their experience or the experience they are a part of, that the secretive nature of abuse seems to lift. It is refreshing....kind of cleanses the air when otherwise abuse stories seem so harsh and tragic.
I've heard several stories in my brief stay and I'll hear more. There are many within our denomination and who are part of the denominational fabric who have been harmed and violated. How will they know that their story has been lifted up? How will they know that people across the denomination have their story on their lips as they pray to God for relief and for rescue? How will they know the heart of synod delegates who seek justice for the oppressed? Be assured these things are happening and pass the word along!