By Anna Groff
It is likely that your church community is blessed with participation from autistic children and adults. These individuals offer wonderful gifts of intelligence, talents, humor, and help. We are grateful that many churches are working at creative ways to welcome and include these individuals.
Dove's Nest Blog
By Anna Groff
By Glen Guyton, COO of Mennonite Church USA and Dove's Nest Speaker's Bureau Member
Maybe nothing better illustrates the need for clear boundary lines than the hymn by Thomas H. Troeger,
“God marked a line and told the sea, its surging tides and waves were free to travel up the sloping strand, but not to overtake the land.”
Even in nature, we see that by design God created natural barriers to protect various aspects of His creation. They say good fences make good neighbors and I say healthy boundaries make healthy ministries.
North Goshen Mennonite Church received the first-ever Children’s Dove Award from Dove’s Nest at the Mennonite Church USA Orlando 2017 Convention during a reception on Wednesday, July 5.
This award was created by the Dove’s Nest board to recognize a Mennonite Church USA individual or church that did something courageous to keep children safe.
The individual who nominated North Goshen highlighted the following ways the church has made significant efforts toward keeping children safe:
By Marlene Bogard, Dove's Nest Speaker's Bureau Member and Executive Director of Mennonite Women USA
Congregational mentoring programs are designed to nurture a spiritual friendship—one youth to one adult. How does the mentoring relationship fit with some of the procedures that Dove’s Nest suggests?
The “rule” that two adults be present at every event where there is youth or children's ministry may frustrate mentors as they plan times with their mentee.
The biennial Mennonite Church USA convention will take place July 4-8, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. Several of the Dove's Nest staff, board members, Speaker's Bureau members, and volunteers will be participating and leading the following fifteen seminars and events:
Dove's Nest Sponsored Event and Seminars
If a child/youth discloses abuse or neglect to you or you have a suspicion, believe the child/youth and make a report immediately to local authorities. Remember: you don’t have to have evidence or proof. Do not do the investigation yourself—or anything that resembles that. Cooperate with professionals who conduct the investigation.
Follow these steps:
By Jim Amstutz, Akron, Pennsylvania, a missional church coach and consultant. He was a pastor for twenty-one years in two Mennonite Church USA congregations and currently serves on several nonprofit boards that address issues of homelessness, poverty, and returning citizens. He is married to Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz, Restorative Justice Coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee U.S., and together they have three adult children.
1. Abuse is a crime and a sin.