Final Day of Synod

Day 5: Morning session
Bethel Pastoral Centre report:
Bethel Centre provides support for those who have been abused or misuse of power in the church – this including psychological , spiritual, sexual.  An independent service of the church, resourced by professional and trained staff to conduct this work. I would encourage all members of our congregations who may need support in dealing with any trauma or being subjected to any form of abuse, even from other members of the congregation, this is a great resource for all members of the church as the process is very confidential. There are also many workshops available for members to attend and be a part of, such as “Bullying & Boundaries”, “Congregational Dynamic”, The process of Forgiveness”.- a very good resource available for all. Staff are available to be invited to work directly with congregations in dealing with some of the above issues.  Resources: Online Library that books available to be borrowed Website is also a good resource and a soon to be Facebook page. Website: http://www.bethelcentre.com.au  Note: Particularly useful  and recommended for joined ministry placements
Culture of Safety Report
Ensure that the Synod is a safe place for everyone to be, including children, staff, congregation members, in deed everyone. Legislative requirements that congregations need to be aware of
  1. Working with Children Check and registration- ensure that both congregations through Church Council meet these legislative requirements.
  2. Minimum Child Safe Standards (Victoria) all congregations needs to be compliant by January 2017  7 standards includes, Child safety policy, A code of conduct, Strategies to deal with its core responsibilities int his area.
Presentation: “Ten myths about sexual offenders” by Dr Danny Sullivan. 
  1. Most sexual abuse committed by strangers – most by family members, people known to victim.
  2. Sexual abuse is detected and punished.
  3. Most sex offenders reoffend – not true
  4. Sex offenders have obvious traits
  5. Sexual abuse victims with obvious traits, e.g.. come from vulnerable family
  6. All sexual offenders are male – 95% offenders are male & 5% female
  7. Grooming
  8. Organisations can prevent sexual offending
  9. Treatment for offenders is ineffective – once an offender always an offender – benefit from treatment
  10. Systemic responses are effective.
Bible Study 4: Final Study from Sally on the theme of reengaging with ancient understanding of Jesus – Woman Wisdom today. I have posted up handouts from all Bible study on Leopold website for your own reflection.
Over the last few 4 days, I have heard so many of my colleagues stood up and share their thoughts with the rest of Synod. In the silence I wish I could muster the confidence to stand and share my own thoughts. Not that anyone stopped me, it just feel not right. If only I saw many of my CALD colleagues stood up and share, just maybe will push me forward. But I was happy to let others speak on my behalf. So in the silence, and after the presentation on ‘Culture of Safety’ I penned these thoughts
What does it mean to be safe
To be safe is to feel the absence of shame,
to let the little voice within speak freely
to be proud of who I am even I know that I am  different
The church, the debate, the decision, consensus?
standing in the shadow remain in my seat
for I feel not the confidence within
to be what I want to say and be
To be safe is to say that I am happy to be just me
To feel free to say and be,
to come out from the dark shadows of the many
and feel the breeze of renewal and claim my place
this is my place, my church my home FREE
for I no longer allow shame overshadow being just ME
I care no more if you do agree
for my HOLY THREE allow me to be
Just the person HE created and say be FREE
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