I mentioned on Sunday morning during announcements at the end of our service that there is an abuse situation happening in another diocese in our province. This is outside our specific diocese (Churches for the Sake of Others – C4SO), but inside our larger Province (The Anglican Church in North America – ACNA), which is similar to a “denomination” for other traditions).
You can read this recent news article that lays out the broad contours of the situation, and a news release from Saturday evening from the Archbishop of our Province, Foley Beach about the situation.
As leaders at The Table, here are a few things we want you to know:
- Fr. Ben, Fr. Spencer, and I applied pressure via social media and email to call for the Province to get involved in this investigation, which seemed to be being mishandled by the diocese in question.
- You can read more survivor stories and articles about problems with the investigation and response by the bishop and diocese in question at ACNAtoo.org.
- Our diocese has specific policies and protocols in place to safeguard the vulnerable in our church, which you can read about here.
- On that site is our diocesan “Whistleblower Policy” which you can download.
As you can see from that website, we need to print out and post that policy in our church building by September 30th.
We desire to be a place where the most vulnerable among us are safe and protected, and where those with power have accountability for how they use it. To this end: each and every allegation of abuse will be handled according to our policies outlined above. I can’t stress this enough: we will take each and every allegation seriously.
I know there are some among us who come from churches where they experienced church hurt, even some of us what we would describe as abuse. It’s incumbent on all of us to create a community of transparency, trust, and accountability in these matters. As your Priests, Ben, Spencer, and I understand the authority we have in our church structure; we bear unique responsibility to ensure we build a community that is resistant to the conditions that create abuse.
We’d like to create some space to chat about our policies as a church: to hear from you what questions or reflections you’d like to share, and to more thoroughly explain how our policies and procedures to ensure the safety of everyone who participates in the communal life of The Table.
To this end, we will host a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, July 28th, at 8:30pm. Put it on your calendar now; and look for a zoom link as we get closer to the date.
As always, please reach out to us with questions or concerns. I consider it a joy to serve you in Christ’s name at The Table.
In his mercy,