Protection and Compassion

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Throughout Scripture, God reveals himself as one who protects those who are vulnerable and who shows compassion for people who have been hurt. He is the defender of widows, the father to the fatherless, a refuge for the foreigner, and the champion of the poor. (See, for example, Psalm 146:7-9.) Scripture also reveals that God expects the leaders of his people to protect vulnerable members of their community from any form of abuse. (See, for example, Isaiah 1:17, 13; Ezekiel 34:1-10; Acts 20:28-29.)

Sadly, however, we sometimes hear of children who are abused in church circles, of women who are sexually harassed by Christian leaders, and of survivors of abuse who are not treated with compassion in their church. Such news is heart-breaking and brings dishonor to the name of God.

To help our church become a safer community for the vulnerable and the wounded, ACC has contracted the services of a Christian organization called GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). With consultation from GRACE, a team of ACC members has been crafting a policy manual that will help us defend against and respond to abuse in our congregation. Last week, a representative from GRACE met with leaders of our church to give us a 4-hour seminar on protecting our church against abuse. You will be hearing more about this project in months to come, and you will be invited to attend an afternoon seminar on Sunday, March 27, 2022. It is vital that our entire congregation work together to be equipped to deal with this important subject. Please keep our church in prayer as we work to become a safer community, and please save the date for the training session, March 27, 2022.