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CHILD SAFE WEEK
September 5 - September 11
Every child and young person in our Church deserves to feel and be safe, to thrive and be healthy.
Join others across the Church for the first Uniting Church Child Safe Week from 5-11 September and Child Safe Sunday on 5 September. The Week reminds us of UCA’s commitment to keep children and young people safe.
“Being a safe Church – physically, emotionally and spiritually caring for each other – is how we live our calling as Christians to love God with our whole selves and show that love of all people,” says Rev John Cox, Director of the National Safe Church Unit.
“This Week reminds us of this commitment, gives us an opportunity to share the ways we are living this in our congregations and other spaces, and asks us to reflect on how we can improve.”
There are many ways to take part in UCA Child Safe Week:
• Create awareness in your community or congregation – You might use Child Safe Sunday on 5 September to raise awareness of our shared commitment as a Church to keeping children and young people safe, and include child safe messages in worship. Flexible resources will be available, including a prayer and an activity engaging children in your community. Register your email to receive them in your inbox.
• Encourage children and young people to get creative – Encourage participation in Child Safe Week art activities and display artworks in your space. You can even share them with the National Safe Church Unit for sharing across the Church – and a chance to be included in the 2022 Safe Church e-calendar! Details to be shared on the National Safe Church Unit website closer to the date and they will be included in worship resources for Child Safe Sunday.
• Join the conversation – online forum for Ministry agents – Rev John Cox, Director of the National Safe Church Unit, and Sarah Lim, National Director of UCA Redress Ltd, will together host an online forum for ministry agents looking at what we are doing as a Church to safeguard children and young people; trauma-informed response; and grooming. Wednesday 8 September, 12-1pm est. Email to register
• Share the thoughts of children and young people in the UCA Child Safe Week video – National Safe Church Unit is looking for short comments on video from children and young people about What makes them feel safe. The clips will form a video available as a resource to share with congregations on Child Safe Sunday and on social media, furthering safe church conversations. Comments can be recorded on a mobile phone; less than 30 seconds is ideal. Personal details of children will not be shared. Lockdowns have made gathering videos difficult. Please consider contributing a video by Friday 20 August. Details on how to do this and permission form attached.
“I invite every congregation, Presbytery and Synod to take part, even if at the moment there are no children or young people in your congregation or UCA space”, says John. “Our commitment reaches out into our families and communities, supporting them to be safe places. The safety of children and young people is everybody’s business.” “Being aware, being vigilant and modelling respectful behaviours is how we protect children and young people.” “Each Synod has processes and training to live our child safe commitment. This is our opportunity to support that work and play our part in strengthening a culture of safety in our Church. Save the date, plan how you will participate – and thank you in advance.”