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Every denomination needs one of these...

Welcoming to everyone

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The San Diego Union-Tribune has more today about Pilgrim United Church of Christ's struggle on how to be welcoming to a pedophile. We referenced another story on it last week and it generated quite a bit of discussion on the message board. The church is still exploring it's options. From San Diego Union-Tribune:
Because the United Church of Christ is structured as a democracy, it will be up to the Pilgrim congregation to decide whether Pliska is allowed to worship there.

“I'm trusting this process,” Shockley said.

A church team continues to meet with Pliska. “He's accepted it with grace,” Shockley said. “He's missing coming to church.”

Shockley also is working with his congregation to develop a “safe-church” policy.

“The thing that really, really caught me off guard was the number of people in my congregation with a history of child abuse,” Shockley said. “I was stunned.”

Despite the pain, Shockley sees this as a teachable moment. “I hope everyone who reads this goes to their own church and says, 'Do we have a safe-church policy and if we don't, let's put one into place immediately.' ”

The sign outside Pilgrim, at Chestnut Avenue and Monroe Street, says that “All are welcome.”

Even convicted child molesters?

It's a question yet to be answered. “This is one of those learn-as-you-go situations,” said the pastor.
There's a lesson in this article as well: If you don't have a "safe-church" policy, create it now, before a crisis, not after.
posted by UCCtruths, Wednesday, March 14, 2007


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