In life and in faith we can turn away from mandates and challenges or we can accept and engage them.
Several months ago we were presented with the mandate and challenge to be the most safe, secure, and faithful congregation for our children and youth. In our quest to be such a community of faith the leadership of our church accepted and engaged the difficult task of creating policies and procedures to ensure that the sanctity and security of every child of God entrusted to our care would be protected and preserved.
For the last several months our elders have been discerning and discussing this challenge. In the process there have been contentious and stressful moments. And yet we accepted the challenge and persevered, recognizing that traveling the faithful path is always more difficult.
Two nights ago our Session approved a “Child and Youth Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy” (click here to read it). Following up on this policy, all of our Saints who work with our children and youth will take part in an orientation and training to ensure we would adhere to the standards we have created.
Does having such a policy ensure that nothing harmful will happen? No more than giving away all of one’s possessions guarantees entry into heaven. Having such a policy, however, does guarantee that we will have done everything we can to prevent such an occurrence, and that in the event of a transgression our response would be swift, fair, faithful, and lead to justice and accountability for all involved.
May God continue to bless us with faith and perseverance to accept the challenges and mandates that draw us closer to one another and God, and may our responses deliver…
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