Cultivating a safe environment is essential for youth and adult formation and spiritual practice. Holy Family follows the guidelines set forth by the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis.
Dear Friends,
Welcome! Christ teaches us that the children among us are to be welcomed and cared for; they possess a crucial openness and trust which serves as an example for all of us – they model for us an entry into life in the kingdom. (Matt 18:3-4)
It is their very openness and trust which also makes them vulnerable to harm, and it is the responsibility of every adult around them to become aware of the ways in which some people use and abuse children, and to protect them from those predators. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has famously quoted the African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Similarly, the adults that are part of our parishes and Diocesan organizations have a right to be treated with respect and dignity (see, Baptismal Covenant, BCP 305). In particular, we need to be aware of instances of harassment or exploitation and how to respond.
For this reason all who have any kind of regular contact with children and adults in our parishes have been asked to use an on-line training program to increase their understanding of how we can keep them safe. Unless we are vigilant in this effort we may fail in caring for the most vulnerable among us – we may fail to be faithful as the Church.
Most gracious God, you have set us in families and communities of faith, and entrusted to us the joyful work of caring for children and adults who are part of our communities of faith: Give us the will both to understand those who would hurt them and to thwart their efforts, that all persons may know your Church to be a place of safety and an example of faithful love. We ask this for the sake of your own unbounded love, and in the name of Jesus our Savior. Amen
Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows