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5 Reasons To Participate in the PAGC Seminar

By Jaime Romo, Commissioned Minister for Healing and Healthy Environment

     Protecting All God’s Children Seminar participation will:

• build on and expand existing strengths re: congregational communication and policy ;
• integrate and systemetize education and intervention practices;
• promote congregational comfort and competency re: discussing difficult issues;
• provide leadership team with advanced training related to the unconscious dynamics that operate in churches;
• put the leadership team in contact with other congregational leadership teams for ongoing learning and support.

     These are all in addition to the policy development and abuse prevention and intervention tasks.

     One seminar is scheduled to begin September 24, hosted by Redlands.  Please contact me to let me know when and where your congregation might be ready to participate. Practically speaking, this can be a cost free learning and professional development opportunity for those for the “Make A Difference!” fund.

     Through the seminar, I’ll work with a leadership team or safe church oversight team to be the trainers of trainers for the congregation. With study and feedback from the congregation, this team will craft a safe church policy, implement an abuse prevention and intervention education program, form a response team for non-ministerial concerns, and assess these particular functions as well as guide the larger congregational ‘healing community’ assessment.  This team’s role is that of teacher/ trainer, so some of the members should have some teaching abilities, formal or informal.  I don’t think this leadership team needs to be a mini-cabinet, although I think that the pastor and moderator are important members of the leadership team.
    

     The first session is 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.  Following this first meeting, teams will meet once a month for approximately two hours to complete their tasks. The goals for the first introductory day are to:

• Clarify context of abuse, trauma and state of responses (the why)
• Introduce participants to Safeguarding God’s Children Curriculum and Response Team (the what)
• Support the future production of meaningful and coherent Safe Church Policies, practices and assessment plans (at congregational level) in SCNUCC Conference (the how).
    

     We’ll meet monthly for a couple of hours as a follow up for the ongoing learning, application and reflection. The goals for the 6 month process (most who try to do this kind of work without guidance take much longer and don’t accomplish as much) are:

• An educated and effective leadership team (safe church oversight committee) that becomes trainers of trainers to implement safe church/ healing community practices ;
• An active response team that engages effectively with a variety of congregational well being issues (e.g., sexual abuse, elder abuse, domestic violence, etc.);
• A living safe church policy that is tailored to congregational culture, and helps members become active participants in promoting safe church life;
• Active, meaningful educational programs for all members related to abuse prevention, intervention and congregational well being;
• Meaningful (quantitative and qualitative) ways or standards for members to assess and become healing communities.

     Whatever congregations have already done related to policy development or educational programs will be valued and further developed into a comprehensive plan.  I look forward to working with your team; I’m confident it will be a valuable, meaningful, and worthwhile process for everyone.

Peace,

Jaime J. Romo, Ed.D.,
Commissioned Minister for Healing and Healthy Environments

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