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Dove's Nest Blog

Power that Empowers

Teaching and Modeling the Healthy Use of Power in Congregations

By Dayna Olson-Getty

Sunlight streamed through the sanctuary windows as a group of children reached their arms high above their heads, wiggling their fingertips in the beams of light. After a pause, the children’s hands swooped toward the floor, their fingers brushing the carpet. A moment later, they stood, stretching their arms in front of their bodies as far as possible, then extending them behind their backs, each inscribing a complete circle around their body.

What's the Big Deal With Best Practices?

Blog post first published by Melodie Bissell, Plan to Protect in the February 2021 newsletter.

Best practices are ideal for the simple design of a program or an event. We are all aware though that when caring for the vulnerable, a program is seldom simple, rather, as we learn in the Cynefin Framework, we often find ourselves in complicated or complex situations where best practices do not fit the scenario. 

4 Child Protection Goals for 2021

We join you in celebrating a new year—2021! Many of us have yet to know how our personal, work, and church lives will unfold in the coming months. Still, we are hopeful for some kind of normalcy. In that spirit, we offer this challenge to you and your faith community: commit to at least one of these important child protection goals this year. 

Replacing Hugs and Handshakes with Sign Language

It was the twelfth week of Zoom worship services at First Mennonite Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. The pandemic had put a stop to all in-person church activities, and the congregation was getting restless. Zoom had its many benefits: We could safely “see” each other and share in real time. We could sing (while muted) with the musicians, make announcements, and listen to the sermon. We also introduced a new element of the service called “spotlighting.” As one of our musicians played, each participant’s screen would be showcased for a few seconds. The spotlighted people would wave and smile, and we would all enjoy seeing everyone in the congregation, however briefly.

Best Practices When Working with Youth During a Pandemic

In this season, where COVID-19 compels congregations to gather virtually, many adults are wondering what that looks like for youth ministry. What boundaries are appropriate? The Yale Youth Ministry Institute has compiled these recommendations for your consideration as you develop your own policy of church safety practices for virtual gatherings. (Note: While the advice below attempts to be universally applicable across all settings, it is highly encouraged that leaders be informed of their insurance provider’s recommendations and policies.)

A Petition and Prayer

Gracious God, we petition you from a world in dire need of your grace and peace.

Our children need our continuing protection amidst the death-dealing conditions of a coronavirus pandemic and racial discrimination.

We cry out in lament for the impacts of this uncertain time on our children
—rhythms of school and play are disrupted; customs and rituals are curtailed and circumscribed; familiar routines have dropped into uncertainty.