South Dakota Churches Host Dove’s Nest Workshop


By Lerace Graber, Salem Mennonite Church. Reposted by permission from Scattered Seeds (October 2015)

A workshop, Keeping Children Safe in Faith Communities, was held at Salem Mennonite Church, Freeman, South Dakota, on September 12, 2015, with Dr. Jeanette Harder from Dove’s Nest of Omaha, Nebraska, as facilitator.  

There were approximately forty people attending, representing six area churches. The first part of the morning began with Dr. Harder explaining why it is so important that children feel safe in our churches and that it is up to the adults to make sure church is safe.

The second half of the morning was a panel discussion with Dr. Harder as moderator, asking prepared questions of four local people representing South Dakota organizations that work with children in a variety of ways.  

The panelists were Muriel Kaufman, a retired teacher and pastor living in Freeman; Judy DeWit, the counselor at Wellspring Counseling Services in Freeman; Casey Murchel, the coordinator of South Dakota Child Assessment Centers; and Cameron Corey, a special agent with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation with a special interest in domestic violence and sexual assault issues. (From left to right in the photo.) After the initial questions, the audience had the opportunity to ask their own questions.

They were all answered expertly and the workshop attendees learned a lot from them.Panel

For the afternoon, Dr. Harder provided training for the curriculum Circle of Grace.

The weekend concluded with Dr. Harder as the speaker for the worship services at both Salem Mennonite Church and Salem-Zion Mennonite Church. 

This workshop was joint effort of the Salem and Salem-Zion churches. The organizing committee included members of both churches. To arrange a Dove’s Nest workshop in your community, contact Kathy Haake at kathy [at] or 402-577-0866.

Photos by Eloise Schrag.