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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, May 16, 2011

God/Child

On Saturday, May 14, 2011, twenty-nine people gathered in St. Thomas congregation’s fellowship hall to take the Child Protection training. This was the first class using the new “core” training approach created by Karen Waring. The class was about evenly split between those who are already registered as child and youth workers wanting to renew their training, and those who are new to the process needing to become registered. It was a good day; one I consider an important milestone for the folks from St. Thomas and others who attended.

At the heart of the child protection training is the need of the child for safe care. We recognize that their well-being must take precedence over the convenience of the worker. Protecting the children in our care from harm must always be our number one priority.

Throughout the day we talked about the variety of ways we do this, exploring the principles we employ. Those principles include the registered child and youth worker program itself and the need for training such as we were undertaking right there and then. The principles also include the two deep rule (or 2 X 2 rule) which means that a worker never works with children by her/himself because there are always at least two registered adults present, and the 1:1 visibility rule which means that, if you have to be alone with a child or youth for some reason, you go to a place where you are clearly visible to others.

The morning following this intense, day-long session, I awoke with a fresh thought; one clearly related to the previous day’s work. What if we were to treat each child as if they were God? What if every child was really God in human form? What if this child was God choosing to have a human experience? What if that experience included the unknown and uncertainty; the need to learn and find one’s way through this life? What if our task was to be caregivers for God in Human form; would we treat that Child any differently? If we were to be guides and protectors to God’s self on this adventure, how would we behave towards this God/Child?

It is an interesting question, don’t you think? Is this what Jesus means in his great, apocalyptic description of judgment (Matthew 25) when he says, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me”?

The Hindu’s use a Sanskrit word we have probably each heard and perhaps become familiar with. The word is Namaste, which is frequently interpreted to mean, "The spirit in me respects the spirit in you," or "the divinity in me bows to the divinity in you."

May we each recognize, respect and honour the divinity of God in every child we meet. May each and every God/Child always be safe in our care.

Posted by Carman

2 comments:

  1. I think that one problem is that many (most?) pedophiles tend to see their victims as appropriate sexual partners, i.e., it is an issue of mistaken thinking. They are not always intending to harm them. Potential abusers, i.e., youth workers, need to be educated about the amount of harm that is done.

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  2. Thank you for your thoughts, Reg. There are many ideass about what the training for our workers needs to include. The world church program is designed not only to educate through our training but also to lessen the opportunity for onyone to harm children within our care. While we may never be able to provide iron clad guarantees of absolute and total safety, the principles we emply such as two-deep leadership and 1:1 visibility greatly lessens the risk to our children and youth. If congregations follow the guidelines, our children will definitely be safer.

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