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Every year, the Christian Reformed Church sets aside one Sunday in the year to acknowledge and recognize the painful reality of abuse.  It is an opportunity to lament and grieve with those who have been harmed by abuse in any form, to commit again to doing what we as a Christian community can do to prevent abuse, and to inspire congregations to address abuse in ways that seek justice and healing for all those who have been impacted.  This year, Abuse Awareness Sunday is April 14, 2024.

The theme for this year's Abuse Awareness Sunday is Safe People. Safe Congregations.  Often, when we think of abuse prevention, our minds go to policies and background checks and hall monitors.  While these are all important strategies for abuse prevention, this year we want to invite those who participate in CRC congregations to reflect on how they might contribute to a safe environment by being a safe person. A safe person is someone who:

  • Treats each person with dignity and respect
  • Actively listens with compassion and empathy to others
  • Acts with honesty and integrity
  • Respects others boundaries
  • Admits and apologizes after wronging someone
  • Advocates for the marginalized and the vulnerable

Many of the postures listed above are reflected in what the Apostle Paul describes as keeping in step with the Sprit. "But the fruit of the Spirit," Paul writes, "is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23)."  In their essence, safe congregations are made up of people who exhibit the fruit of the Spirit.  

Specific Resources for Abuse Awareness Sunday 2024:

  • Bulletin Insert [English]
  • Sermon Starter: Galatians 5:13-26

Imagine the following situation:  You see a person in your neighborhood being bullied and harassed by someone. It’s clear to you that the person feels threatened and is afraid. As an onlooker, what do you do? Do you intervene? Or do you look around, hoping someone else will take action?   If you chose the latter, you are not alone.  . . . (continued here)



General Resources for Abuse Awareness Sunday:

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