In March, as houses of worship were responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, my congregation scrambled to discover ways to worship without gathering in person. We hoped that the entire worshipping community would experience a smooth transition from worship in the sanctuary to worship at home. For adults, we trust that worship will feel right through the familiar weave of music, prayer, scripture, and sermon. But for children?
Dove's Nest Blog
Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.
New Online Sermon Resource!
Creating Safety for Children and Vulnerable Adults
Bring a Dove's Nest speaker to your faith
community—virtually! In this time when so many churches are meeting online, Dove's Nest is
excited to be able to offer a new sermon / short training resource.
Though most schools are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, expectations for assignments and requirements for classes
continue. In many instances, homeschooling or “no schooling”
has been coupled with remote learning.
If your child’s school or program is introducing or has been
using virtual learning, consider these best practices:
I live in South-Central Elkhart, Indiana, once a vibrant and safe African American community—a community where everyone looked out for each other. In the wake of our new crisis, I find myself dreaming of what our community used to be and how we can get back to it.
As a member of the board of Dove’s Nest, an independent Anabaptist nonprofit working to protect children from all types of child abuse and neglect, I’ve become more and more aware of the ways humans experience touch, and the sensitivity that all Christians are called to use when touching one another.
As a pastor, I’m aware of the ways my touch matters: laying on of hands for the sick, blessing new babies, hugs of greeting, passing the peace, baptizing people, anointing, footwashing and more.
Jeanette Harder had not even received a printed copy of her new book when she learned that 740 fresh-off-the-press copies had been handed out at a conference.
Dr. Harder, cofounder of Dove’s Nest, authored For the Sake of a Child: Love, Safety, and Abuse in Our Plain Communities (Ridgeway Publishing, 2019) with Allen Hoover, a horse-and-buggy Old Order Mennonite.
1. Address the survivors’ and all other children’s physical and body safety first. Children, youth, and adults should practice consent in all areas of their lives. Consent is an active, voluntary verbal agreement. It means asking before giving a hug. It means listening to a “no.” It means respecting children’s boundaries and finding ways to connect with them that do not necessarily involve physical interaction. (Dove’s Nest offers a variety of different trainings on healthy boundaries and consent.)
Everence supports the healthy development of churches as they contribute to the spiritual and emotional health of their attendees—especially children, teens and others vulnerable individuals. The Safe Church Grant can be used to develop policies, train people or implement programs within church ministries.