Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Evolution, Draftily

1. RantWoman presents the current version of our bulletin announcement about...sex offenders:


• For many years we have been openly holding, at once, the community and worship needs of survivors of sexual abuse and past sexual offenders. While we are a safer place for both children and adults because of the awareness and education that this ministry has produced we recognize that this ministry requires an ongoing dialog and engagement. If you have questions or concerns we encourage you to talk to a member of the Oversight Committee. For more information see yellow informational flyer on the information table outside of the office.

2. The yellow information flyer mentioned above is currently being revised.

Here is what came to RantWoman when she was invited to opine on a proposed draft: RantWoman quite liked some elements of the proposed draft but nevertheless the RantWoman inner blowtorch offered substantial suggested revision [and notes some passages she still wonders about]. Note: this is Light as it has arrived so far to RantWoman and RantWoman makes NO representation about what may emerge from further shared discernment.




For many years we have been openly holding, at once safety within our community and the community and worship needs of both survivors of sexual abuse and past sexual offenders.

The suffering caused by sexual abuse affects us all; we are all called to respond. We are committed to the protection of children and other vulnerable people, the spiritual nurture of survivors and their loved ones, and worship and other parts of community life including two known offenders.

Our community is working to provide a welcoming spiritual home for survivors of abuse as well as these offenders. We are a safer community for all because of the awareness and education which are part of this ministry, This ministry also calls us to ongoing dialog and engagement.


Protocols (i.e. guidelines to prevent harm and procedures for responding to harm) are in place. All adult volunteers and employees are screened before being permitted to participate in children’s programs and two adults are with the children at all times. We have had a number of presentations for both children and adults on safety issues, about talking openly about sexuality, and other topics. The Meeting aims to institutionalize on-going educational programs about prevention of sexual abuse. We also recognize that safety, a community of trust depends on all of us.


Many survivors of sexual abuse and people whose loved ones are survivors of sexual abuse find spiritual community worshipping among us. One important part of our ministry is shared language and ongoing practice talking in a spirit of love and truth about difficult topics. We listen as people express a variety of needs and perspectives. Listening to understand can be healing in itself for both the speaker and the hearer. We have also learned that only after listening is it respectful to explore ways we can walk alongside and minister with those who are suffering.

Survivors of sexual abuse working to support each other spiritually [does anyone besides RantWoman wonder about the expectations inherent in this categorization?] may meet in the Quaker House living room on 2nd and 4th Sundays following the rise of 11:00 meeting. To confirm the schedule, call [Friend willing to have her phone number listed for this purpose.]. She, and possibly others, can meet to hear concerns, share experience, or help discern what meeting actions or resources might address survivors' needs.

Examples of practices, in addition to worship and other parts of Meeting life, which we have found useful include worship sharing on specific themes, individual listening sessions, resource lists, and small behind the scenes changes in different Meeting practices; we invite people to ask if something would be particularly meaningful.


Our community is a spiritual home to two known offenders. Both have completed extensive psychological evaluations and treatment programs under the supervision of the Washington Department of Corrections. Both are highly motivated not to re-offend. Both have accountability and support committees which maintain a connection to the Oversight committee. They both came to us with long connections to Friends and they participate actively in our community.

If you have any questions or concerns about these ministries, we encourage you to contact any member of Oversight committee.


[suggested on reverse]

University Friends Meeting is committed to all the ministries outlined on the other side of this page. Part of that commitment is to recognize times when help from outside our community may be essential. If you or someone you know are in crisis and need immediate independent, trained, confidential, timely assistance you may also want to consider the following resources

The Crisis Clinic, www.crisisclinic.org  , 206-461-3222

The King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, www.kcsarc.org , 1-888-99-VOICE

Washington Coalition Against Domestic Violence, www.wscadv.org  , 1-800-562-6025


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