What happens when, upon release, a convicted sex offender joins (or re-joins) a congregation? To date, my experience has taught me that there is no single “right” answer and that the process of finding the “best” answer will definitely test the mettle of a congregation and its leadership team...
Although it does vary, in most states and provinces, the age of consent is 16. Below age 16, a minor is regarded as unable to give consent; 16 or older and the minor is regarded as able to give consent. That does not mean, however, that everyone who is of age to give consent to sexual acts has given consent ...
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 for me is like a lot of training events. In one respect, synod is a friendly environment to discuss a subject matter that is dear to my heart and therefore easy to talk about. On the other hand, delegates, like conference attendees, often ask pointed questions and challenge the speaker's knowledge or the opinions of others. It is this second respect which draws out the anxiety in me and probably in a few other speakers.
The fourth in a series of questions frequently raised in training sessions: I am a man who cares deeply about sexual abuse, but what can one man do to make a difference? Isn't (sexual abuse) primarily a problem women need to learn how to keep themselves safe? Gerry Heyboer writes the following response. The answer to the first question is "A lot!" The answer to the second question is "No!"
This handbook is for pastors and other church leaders to help them respond to and prevent domestic violence.
Sample letters for pastors, churches, and prospective Safe Team Members to be used for Classis Safe Church Team recruiting.