Blog

I understand our penchant to protect and cover favorable people. Even in our churches this happens with well-loved leaders and personable congregants. Does this outweigh protecting the flock?

August 17, 2015 0 6 comments
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The publicness of the Duggars' lives has created space for a wider conversation about abuse. What will it take to move the church to speak more openly and courageously about abuse?

August 8, 2015 0 0 comments
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How has this culture of rape, disrespect, and devaluing others entered into our lives and into our congregations?

August 3, 2015 0 0 comments
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I was telling a church member that I would not be able to attend the retreat because I didn't have the $40.00. I then told one of the leaders I couldn't go this year. Without hesitation, she said...

July 26, 2015 0 1 comments
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Yet, there was a question burning in my heart, as my eyes searched Bella’s face hoping to glean more insight. It was a question I wanted to ask but never could: “How did you know to fight back?”

July 21, 2015 0 3 comments
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"The God I serve is a God of presence, not a God of protection."

June 27, 2015 0 8 comments
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Even in the walking alongside, there is a decision to enter into places of pain, knowing that you will hurt along with them, knowing that there may not be answers to the deep questions that arise.

June 19, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

We always seem to say that King David committed adultery with Bathsheba. However, I would say that what King David did was sexual assault.

May 30, 2015 0 4 comments
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I am not advocating for us to raise unruly, disrespectful children. Yet, there must be a bridge in which we can disciple our children to be Christ-like AND have a voice.

May 17, 2015 0 2 comments
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In April, Safe Church leaders from the U.S. and Canada came together for strategic planning. One priority rose to the top. “We need to be able to talk about abuse!”

May 11, 2015 0 0 comments
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Are our churches willing to put aside our own opinions and views about the people who report sexual harassment in order to help them and to follow proper reporting procedures?

May 2, 2015 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

We often talk about bullying in schools and strategies to encourage decreased aggression for our children. But what about bullying in our everyday lives as adults in the church?

April 30, 2015 0 0 comments
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He felt covered with such shame and guilt that he only wanted to hide from the presence of God. Instead, Philip said that he heard the voice of God saying, “Now, come worship Me”.

April 25, 2015 0 4 comments
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There are ways to illustrate the horror and the impact of rape in the storyline, without explicitly showing the rape. What are your thoughts on this?

April 10, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Webinar Recording

This webinar explores how healthy boundaries enhance ministry, how power dynamics influence ministry relationships, and how to avoid some of the common pitfalls.

April 8, 2015 0 4 comments
Resource, Lesson or Study

Strangers are only a fraction of the offenders out there; most are people you see every day. Check out the The Circle of Grace curriculum for an all-inclusive approach to recognizing the signs of abuse.

March 29, 2015 0 0 comments
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Statistics have shown that people, even once they are out of abusive situations, often return to the abusive relationship. How are congregations equipped for the task of building up and walking alongside others?

March 21, 2015 0 1 comments
Blog

One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. We cannot bury our heads in the sand and ignore this issue.

March 2, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Find a variety of resources related to abuse awareness. 

February 23, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Image

The 'Power and Control Wheel' has been used for many years to describe the central power and control dynamic that operates in many kinds of abusive relationships. 

February 23, 2015 0 0 comments
Resource, Video

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Check out this video clip and share how effective YOU think it is in helping people spot the signs of teen dating violence.

February 23, 2015 0 2 comments
Blog

Which story would you rather read: A story about a woman alleging gang rape at a prestigious university? Or a story about how the reporter covering that story failed to maintain good journalistic standards?

February 16, 2015 0 6 comments
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A report from the American Psychological Association states that childhood psychological abuse not only is just as harmful as sexual and/or physical abuse, but can have “long-lasting impact”.

February 7, 2015 0 9 comments
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The CRC has encouraged each classis to have a Safe Church Team and each church to have a representative on that team. Here are some helpful resources for these teams and representatives! 

February 6, 2015 0 0 comments
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This helpful presentation on Bullying by Alicia Mannes (Licensed Professional Counselor) shares some key insights into the world of bullying. 

January 29, 2015 0 0 comments

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Monica,

Having dealt with cases and survivors from several denominations in a pastoral care and recovery role, I have discovered a wealth of research and supporting documents. Much of the research has been done in the United States among protestant denominations there, through several universities conducting research on the phenomenon of abuse of power and clergy sexual abuse. Baylor University's department of sociology did much of the research in the past two decades. In addition, several denominations undertook separate research on their own due to their own internal needs. I will be happy to forward links to the data and resources.

A follow-up article on office-bearer/clergy abuse in the Protestant Church will be a welcome read and help to many who continue to suffer in silence in the pews. Once victims feel "safe" enough, some may come forward with their stories to the right people. Publishing a helpful article with victims redemption and justice in mind is a step in this process for victims to feel "safe" enough to come forward. Please forward your e-mail or contact information and I will forward the resources.

Peace,

Kelly

Thanks, Bev. I agree completely. It is appalling and sad. I am hopeful that little by little eyes will be opened. Thanks for your work and support. I appreciate you referring to Boz's article: that is a great article that came to my mind as well.

 

 

Thanks for your concern, passion, and support, Kelly. I'd be interested in any resources you could point me to on clergy abuse. I would like to follow up with an article assessing clergy abuse in the Protestant  world and possibly the CRC (though we may have less data on the CRC.)

Peace,

Monica

Amen and Amen!  bless your heart Bonnie...  keep it up!

bless your hearts... an answer to my prayer that what is hidden in darkness be exposed!  and that includes spiritual abuse/abuse of power in the CRC!

When I heard about this movie, I went to see it right away... it is a very sobering film, especially for those who might not realize the extent of abuse in the Church and leaderships' patterns of cover up and that it is far more extensive than we recognize (we tend to minimize and dismiss, and think it's not that bad)...  for me, it was an answer to prayer on behalf of all those who have been harmed by the Church, Catholic or Protestant.  It validated what happened to them, but also exposed the abuse of power by leaders in the Church to protect themselves and the reputation of the Church at the expense of those harmed.   The exact opposite of what God calls His Church to do!

the article and several of the replies refer to the fact that this is not just a Catholic problem... here's a powerful article from Boz Tchividjian stating that very thing:  http://boz.religionnews.com/2015/12/07/spotlight-its-not-just-a-catholic...

Over the last number of years, I have come to a beyond grievous conclusion that breaks my heart, and I believe is extremely painful to God's heart, and no denomination or congregation is exempt (this is also true in gov't and with any institution) but I am addressing the Church here: when leadership is threatened, such as sexual immorality being exposed, the response has far too often been abuse of power and that is often far more harmful than the original incident (and I would say always more harmful in the spiritual sense/realm), because it is betrayal and spiritual abuse by those in leadership, who are called to do what is right in the eyes of God.  Instead of doing what is right and bringing this into the light (John 3:21), and validating the one who was violated, instead, the response by leaders is far too often, "damage control" aka sweep it under the rug, aka John 3:19-20 keeping it in the dark out of fear, which is the enemy's ways... this response breeds manipulation, intimidation (silencing), deception and further shame for those harmed, those violated, those abused.  So now, it is not only physical or emotional harm, but now (at least in the Church) they have been spiritually abused as well (there are entire books on this).  http://www.spiritualabuse.com/?page_id=58  and I quote... Spiritual abuse is always a power issue! EOQ 

Spiritual abuse = abuse of power!

Again, the exact opposite of what the Church is called to... 

and unfortunately, that's still not all of it... when this type of thing does get exposed... here's the reaction from those in the Church  which again further harms those violated...   http://boz.religionnews.com/2015/12/11/an-unholy-alliance-when-mob-forgi...

I know, this is not stuff that we want to hear, again, it is very sobering, but the Church needs to hear it, because we are all guilty... pray about this, process it, ask God to show you His heart regarding this...  He is bringing abusive behavior into the light!

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”  Bonhoeffer

We need to boldly address this... we cannot stick our heads in the sands, and only listen to fables and fairytales, myths that make us feel good (2 Timothy 4:3-5)...  this is the truth coming into the light (SpotLIGHT), and it's time for the Church, to open our eyes and ears to the abuse we have allowed to continue by not addressing this in the light... and repent... and the longer it takes for us to acknowledge, confess and repent, the more harm that will happen and abuse be allowed to continue...  I realize this is not a message that we want to hear or believe, but right now, we are guilty of the same things the Pharisees are... making the cup look pretty on the outside, when there is filth and rottenness on the inside... and no denomination, including the CRC is exempt.

I understand the Church is not perfect and this isn't 100% the case true in every situation, but we can't use these as an excuse to not address this type of behavior in the Church...

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/church/what-not-say-someone-who-has-...

the world is doing a better job at holding leaders accountable than the Church does.  Part of leadership responsibility is to bring justice to those harmed, we have significantly failed in this area.  I wish I could say this is the exception rather than the rule, but when it comes to institutional leadership feeling threatened, it seems "damage control" and/or "non-disclosure" type agreements have become the rule...  water gate, Catholic Church, Sovereign Grace, Mars Hill/Mark Driscoll, Bill Gothard, Pat Tillman's death cover up (US Army), human trafficking (US gov't contractors in Bosnia), etc. and countless more that have never seen the light...  I recently had a friend who did the right thing, and reported abusive behavior of an elderly client by another employee at her job... she lost her job, for reporting it... bless her heart for doing the right thing!  I have a friend who has experienced these patterns and been intimidated, manipulated, deceived, discredited, spiritually abused, etc. by Church leadership and continues to be shut down in addressing this pattern of behavior, and when I shared the "unholy alliance" article with my friend, the reply was, "I find myself getting mad when I read this..... Because it's EXACTLY what they did!!" ...   abuse breeds so much evil!  and that is the EXACT opposite of what we, His Kingdom Church, are called to do.

we're not giving up on exposing this evil in the Church!  yes, it is hard, and leaders feel threatened...  but it is time to bring abuse, especially spiritual abuse/abuse of power into the light...  and this needs your help, your voice, your response.  We cannot stay silent. 

Our response starts with prayer and repentance, seeking God's heart and His ways for healing and choosing to walk in obedience to His ways...  If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves, pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then, will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.  and He will call us, His Church into action as part of that healing.  and He will call us into action as part of that healing..  This is my prayer for His Church... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for your encouraging words.

Thanks, Bonnie, for your post Christmas advent reflection.  You suggest being hopeful as we wait for Christ to come in all his fullness.  We wait for the “not yet” even as we have experienced the “already.”  I hand it to you, Bonnie, that you have a very positive attitude toward one of the great difficulties and frustrations of the Christian faith, the expectant waiting for Christ’s return.

For the skeptic, he/she would call your expectant waiting unreasonable, beyond the scope of rational thinking. When do you finally give up and start realizing maybe this expectation is mere wishful thinking?  

The apostle Paul thought the return of Christ would occur during his lifetime.  The apostle John, while in exile on the island of Patmos, was awaiting the apocalypse to happen at any time and that he would see it.  The Christian crusaders thought they were carrying out the final battle of Armageddon against the forces of evil in the 12th and 13th centuries.  During the time of the Reformation, many Christians thought the Roman Catholic pope was the anti-Christ and that the end of time was about to take place.  There were those in the 1960's who thought John Kennedy was the anti-Christ and that we were in the end times.  Christian radio host Harold Camping of Family Radio predicted the return of Christ for2011, but it didn’t happen either.  That is just the tip of the iceberg of those who thought the return of Christ should have already happened.  They too, like you, were waiting for the “not yet” of Christ’s kingdom, but were found to be disillusioned.  Other Christians have given up altogether on Christ’s actual return and have spiritualized the thoughts and teachings of a future kingdom. The skeptic stands by on the side line and suggests that such unfulfilled wishful thinking makes Christianity suspect.  

But you, Bonnie, are staying the course, expectantly hanging on to your hope for Christ’s return.  So I laud you and hope you are right in your expectation. Hang in there.

      Having recently viewed Spotlight with my pastor, I was struck once again by the horrors of abuse of power, clergy sexual and spiritual abuse and its close cousin, emotional abuse. This phenomenon is hardly a Catholic one. Researchers at Baylor have reams of statistics outlining the extent of clergy sexual abuse in protestant denominations.

      As a commissioned pastor and chaplain, I have deep concern for survivors of abuse of power. The complexities of the fall-out for the victims of clergy spiritual and sexual abuse are almost impossible to heal without committed, whole-congregational support preceded by congregational education on yes, the reality of clergy abuse of power, spiritual and sexual abuse in our own CRC. Before Synod 2016 is an overture addressing this reality and the need to re-vamp church polity to effectively discipline office-bearers who cross boundaries of professional conduct. There should be zero tolerance for office bearers engaging in "affairs" (long out-dated language of the past) with adult parishioners or who abuse minors within a congregation. There is no such thing as an "affair" between a pastor and a parishioner due to the imbalance of power. It is always abuse and needs to be clearly labeled as such. With an eye to protecting, healing and preserving the lives of victims, CRC Safe Church has a major "policing" role that warrants much greater respect, recognition and authority than it currently receives. The consequences for both victims and communities following an incident of office-bearer abuse of power leave a wake of destruction including permanent loss of faith in God and the church community, deposed or suspended office bearers, loss of trust, broken and split congregations to name just a few.

     Sweeping office-bearer sexual abuse under the rug should not be tolerated any more calling it for what it is...otherwise on your Marquees write: "Church"- Enter at your own risk!

Thanks for posting this
Wouldn't I like to see every person in our churches see this movie or at least read your article.
As long as they do realize abuse is in every church not just this one in the movie.
 

The movie helps point out the systemic nature of the problem. It's our culture that allows abuse to continue - we must not let it continue in our congregations. As a college campaign against sexual assault states, "It's on us", all of us. We must work together to change culture. The stakes are too high to be complacent.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to see our church culture reflect our belief that every person is valued as a unique image-bearer of God. Wouldn't it be wonderful if every Church leader followed in the way of Jesus, never using power for selfish gain, to control, manipulate, or harm; but instead used power as Jesus did to humbly love and build up the other (see Philippians 2). In that culture, abuse would be unthinkable.

Thanks, Faye - I'd love to see each congregation gathering together around this issue; we really need some momentum and unity around this issue. Thanks for your faithful work.

Thank you Monica for a well written article on the movie Spotlight.  In BC, the Safe Church Teams work with the directive "It takes a Whole church to be a Safe Church".  In the Safe Church work of the 2 classes in BC we are recommending ALL church leaders to watch this movie.  You have pointed out well the reasons this is so important.  It truly is the best movie/documentary style/drama available as an educational challenge to churches of all faiths. Its about ALL of us. Protestants & Catholics alike. 

Faye Martin (Safe Church Team Ministry: Classis BCSE & BCNW)

 

Thanks! Yes, I see it is working now. Thanks again. 

Preach it, Bonnie!  This is Gospel.

Thanks for letting us know of the problem. I'm not sure why this particular video just stopped working. The file has been replaced and it's working now.  

Sorry about this - I will check with the folks at the Network to see what the problem is. Thank you!

I can't get this one to play. 

I LOVE that, Bonnie. What a great illustration of the incarnation!

A book that I've recently read (Two Steps Forward by Sharon Garlough Brown) described a scene in a church. As people walked into the sanctuary on the first Sunday of Advent they saw the front of the sanctuary littered with garbage, car bumpers, garbage cans overturned, cardboard as if set up as a shelter, etc... and in the middle of it all was a manger, with a spotlight coming out from it that lit up the cross behind. Jesus came down into our mess - and it's GOOD NEWS for us and for the world. Thanks for this blog that reminds us to enter into the mess of our humanity with a hope that is sure.

"the experience of Christmas is a bittersweet longing for hope"

This is a really beautiful meditation, Monica, with so much truth. I look forward to part two. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks S - I very much appreciated the sermon audio you provided! Wow - very challenging, very honest. We need more examples like these. I remember the first time I heard a sermon candid about these issues (online - I've yet to hear such candor in a church building) - it both left me shaken and deeply encouraged/relieved. (One slight 'disclaimer' I might make if I shared this sermon more broadly is that I think I see the concept of abuse a bit more broadly than this pastor does - there are varying degrees. I think of severe abuse as exactly as he describes (and that needs to be taken as seriously as he does for what it is), but there are less extreme forms of abuse, also very serious in their impact, which can sometimes be treated and of those kind of abusers I would not necessarily find describing them as monsters/children of the devil helpful. Either way, the naivete about the darkness of abuse and the impact destructive behavior has needs to stop.

Thank you for your interest and support - I'm very glad you found it helpful.

Great article, Monica.  I've searched all over for help with this naivete, from a Reformed perspective, and it's so very difficult to find.  But finally I found a sermon from a Reformed Church pastor, Sam Powell.  An amazing, excellent message, which pulls no punches, and yet is full of grace.  The sermon is in audio and can be found here.  http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?m=t&s=2101414322610  . It speaks directly to your thesis.   ---S

Thank you for the helpful blog.  

 

Robin will be missed. She contributed much to this discussion forum.

I look forward to getting to know Monica. Welcome!

Farewell, Robin! I really appreciated your writing and I will miss you! Thank you for sharing your gift with us.....

For sure I too an careful about who I 'let in' to my deep pain.
I do consider it an honor and a gift when others share their pain with me. Not that it is easy but it is important to do.

posted in: Forgiveness

I agree with you both.

Some people never repent or change and are unsafe.
With serious offense, true reconciliation can only happen when the offender is repentant,  asks forgiveness,  walks with accountability, proves themselves, takes responsibility, makes restitution......
However, I have been able to have a good  kind of a relationship with some people who seriously hurt me,  where I chose to walk in grace and forgiveness and they did not know how hard that was for me. I was able to choose to love them and help care for them. God brought this about in me where i did not think that was possible.

posted in: Forgiveness

Nor does it necessarily mean reconciliation. I've had someone recently tell me that reconciliation is the ALWAYS the goal to forgiveness. It may be Christ's example, but I do not believe that God would want us around toxic, un-safe people.

posted in: Forgiveness

Thanks, I agree it's often difficult for others to listen to, and sit with someone's pain. I've always been selective about the people who are allowed to see the deeper pain (scars)that I live with.I'm glad the post resinated with you..

posted in: Forgiveness

Thanks for your thoughtful response. We must be clear that forgiveness is NOT an alternative to justice. Those who hurt others must be held accountable, harm must be acknowledged, there are consequences, an opportunity for restitution must be given. Forgiveness does not negate the need for any of these things.

posted in: Forgiveness

I appreciate how thoughtful you were about this prayer and if you would talk about forgiveness or not.
I too have been hurt by forgiveness being pushed on me.
People think that forgiving a person means that what that person did does not matter, or you cannot hold them to account.
One thought I had was that if I forgive then it negates what was done to me, as if it wasn't that bad or it did not really hurt me.
Talking about forgiveness needs to include what forgiveness does and does not mean.
Having said that, I have come through a long journey to understand that forgiveness is a Gift.
I am thankful and appreciate it that I have been forgiven by God (and others) and i am thankful and appreciate that I have been freed to heal more when He enables me to forgive those who hurt me.
 

posted in: Forgiveness

We must guard against the tendency toward quick forgiveness that doesn't fully acknowledge the harm done. The journey toward healing is not a straight and easy path; rather it is most often painful, complicated, and difficult. Forgiveness is an important part of that journey, but one does not arrive there early in the process. There are no short cuts. Pushing forgiveness too soon can impede the process and delay healing. 

posted in: Forgiveness

Thank you for your post Elizabeth. I found the same thing true for me. Forgiveness came in God's time and in his way. Often a little at a time. I wonder if sometimes survivors are "pushed" to forgive because it more comfortable for the other person than really sitting with the survivor in their pain and anger.

posted in: Forgiveness

You are right, Reverend Shannon!  We do need to create safe spaces for our children to share and to feel safe.  We need to be continued advocates for both the boys and the girls.

posted in: Someone Did Know

Thank you for sharing this piece, Robin! There is too much silence in our families and congregations about abuse, particularly sexual abuse. I think when most of us picture victims of childhood sexual abuse, we usually think of girls, but as the story you share illustrates, boys are victims too. Too many suffer in silence and shame. I pray that, as family members and church family, we will cultivate communities where children will share when they are being hurt.  

posted in: Someone Did Know

Yes, Monica, please feel free to share this as a devotional.  So glad this blessed you!  Thank you!

Beautiful! Thank you for this wonderful message of grace and hope that applies to each of us! May I please read as a devotion as I begin our church's safe church training sessions this fall?

Thank you, for this thoughtful comment, MJill H!  Where you said, "When a person begins to believe in Jesus they are not usually all healed up and just lovely all at once." sums it up, perfectly.    

So true

I like this article because it brings hope.
Also it reminds me that everyone's walk with God is different.
When a person begins to believe in Jesus they are not usually all healed up and just lovely all at once.
We need to feed them and love on them and be patient and they will grow into who God sees them as.
 

 

Thank you for your comment. It begins with an openness and an ability to talk about a sensitive topic. We need to provide safe spaces where that can happen, whether it's a small group, or informally with friends. Unfortunately, abuse is not a rare event, space to talk about it can lead to healing as well as prevent future incidents.

Thank you for posting; it's not always easy when it comes from a place deep in your own heart. And thank you for your prayers, may God hear and answer them. God hears the cries of those who are hurting, may his church also hear and respond. 

I had a conversation with an elder about abuse awareness Sunday.
I am thankful that our council is talking about it and working to revamp our safe church committee and make sure we implement all of our abuse awareness policies.
I understand that it is difficult to talk about abuse issues.
Who wants to think about it?
There can be abusers in our church?
There are children being abused -sexually, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically?
It makes my heart sick to acknowledge a yes answer to both these questions.
It grieves me to think of the children who should be receiving help now and who may not get help for many years.
I pray they have a shorter healing journey than the 50 years it has taken for me.
I pray they have the courage to ask for help.
I pray that they are believed and not re-victimised.
I pray that gentle, loving, healing, help is given
I pray for eyes to be opened in their parents and families and teachers and friends.
I pray that these will have the courage to face that hard thing and stand up for the victim. Not turn their head and say- this is not my problem or I don't want to embarrass my family or it can't be true -he/she is a great person!

I also pray for the abusers that they will be stopped. That people will not cover up for them anymore. That they will be called to account. That the abusers will turn from their ways and receive healing for their brokenness and forgiveness.

We have to do the hard thing.
We have to face this issue.
The cost of doing nothing is a sentence  of PAIN -SEVERE PAIN.

 

 

I had a conversation with an elder about abuse awareness Sunday.
I am thankful that our council is talking about it and working to revamp our safe church committee and make sure we implement all of our abuse awareness policies.
I understand that it is difficult to talk about abuse issues.
Who wants to think about it?
There can be abusers in our church?
There are children being abused -physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically?
It makes my heart sick to acknowledge a yes answer to both these questions.
It grieves me to think of the children who should be receiving help now and who may not get help for many years.
I pray they have a shorter healing journey than the 50 years it has taken for me.
I pray they have the courage to ask for help.
I pray that they are believed and not re-victimised.
I pray that gentle, loving, healing, help is given
I pray for eyes to be opened in their parents and families and teachers and friends.
I pray that these will have the courage to face that hard thing and stand up for the victim. Not turn their head and say- this is not my problem or I don't want to embarrass my family or it can't be true -he/she is a great person!

I also pray for the abusers that they will be stopped. That people will not cover up for them anymore. That they will be called to account. That the abusers will turn from their ways and receive healing for their brokenness and forgiveness.

We have to do the hard thing.
We have to face this issue.
The cost of doing nothing is a sentence  of PAIN -SEVERE PAIN.

 

 

I agree whole heartedly with this statement:
"There is a deep need for more open conversation creating an environment of trust and safety, policies that put children’s safety first, and worship services that lament abuse, pray for justice, and open the door for healing for its victims."
I am very concerned about the safety of children and fragile people and I long for our church to become a safe place where children know where to go for help.
It makes me sad that secrets cannot be told and survivors suffer silently for many years, if not their whole life, without help.

"When does protecting privacy outweigh protecting the flock?" That's a very good question. Such questions are common when people with a record of criminal sexual behavior join our congregations. They arise when a beloved church leader is found to have committed sexual sin. Who needs to know? When? How is it communicated? How do we avoid descending into malicious gossip? These decisions are not easy, there are often many, many variables that must be taken into consideration.  It is best not to make decisions quickly. Prayerful reflection, getting input from others, and sometimes also legal counsel is important. Safe Church Ministry has resources that can help with many of the more common questions that arise. Safe Church Ministry is also available to offer consultation when these difficult and complex questions arise. 

posted in: Counting Voices

You raise a very good question and I have asked myself the same questions with regards to some incidents within the CRCNA.  I recall the incident when Synod nominated someone for executive director of the CRCNA but after his nomination something was announced that it was no longer proper for him to serve in this capacity.  I do not know if the reason was ever made public.

posted in: Counting Voices

Thanks for sharing this, Robin! This is how the body of Christ should work. Out of God's extravagant and grace-filled love for us, we learn how to love others. Powerful reminder. 

posted in: Come, Just Come

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