Flourishing, Not FearNew Every Morning | May 2, 2023
As we approach the work of creating safer sanctuaries, we strive for flourishing, not fear, to always be first and foremost in our minds. The fear of abuse, the fear of harm, the fear of litigation, and the fear of all the negative outcomes that we are trying to avoid with this work is understandable. These threats are real. Nevertheless, the goal of establishing healthy relationships and healthy boundaries that nurture strong and growing faith communities is always our guiding principle. … As we focus on the life-giving, nurturing work of God’s righteousness, our work and this ministry will become a source of joy. In return, God promises to fulfill all our needs, and this includes vanquishing our fears.
— Safer Sanctuaries: Nurturing Trust Within Faith Communities (Discipleship Resources, 2023)
How can healthy boundaries protect children and adults? Join the conversation.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of
a sound mind.
—2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
Prayer for the Week
Holy God, we recognize that all people are entrusted to our care. We
respond to your will for us to diligently watch over one another. Help us keep our eyes
alert to dangers. Enable us to have attentive ears to even the silent cries for help. … Use our community to be a sure place of safety
for all. Use our community to be a source of overflowing love and compassion. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Prayer from page 222, Safer Sanctuaries
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Since 1998, Safe Sanctuaries resources have been a trusted source of guidance for churches and other affiliated institutions as they work to reduce the risk of abuse in their communities. Now, Safer Sanctuaries: Nurturing Trust within Faith Communities is a new and comprehensive resource that continues the tradition of Safe Sanctuaries ministry on the strong foundation of past resources while also inspiring and preparing churches for the work of the future. Learn more at SaferSanctuaries.org.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
Healthy boundaries ought not to be underestimated. With these in place, trust is built and authentic conversations can occur. Safety and glorifying God must be the foundation upon which everything else grows.
After seeking God’s will and direction, with a sense that it would be in cancer support or grief accompaniment, I have finally been led to the concept of end of life doula. I am convinced of His guidance towards this, as pieces have begun to fit together rapidly, after such a long time of silence and no clear direction. There seems to be a pretty clear path forward and I will begin with volunteering at hospice. A leader from the now defunct (second) cancer support group with which I was involved – gave me a contact who turned out to be the volunteer coordinator with a hospice operation. She has been looking to be connected with a doula and we were put in touch with each other. We had dinner last night – and it far exceeded my expectations. She is looking to build, from the ground up, a doula program within her hospice company. I will begin with being a companion volunteer, step up to a vigil sitter volunteer and then begin my training in doula work and sharing with her what I am learning. This is a long range thing…very much in its embryonic stage…but we are both excited and encouraged to have been connected. It’s pretty incredible to have the sense that God is directing all this.
Ally – continuing to pray for your recovery from Shingles and ability to get “back on track” with your job and things about the house.
Our churches must be a place where people are heard, no matter their message. A place where people can share that they are being abused, whether that place of abuse is in the home, workplace or the church itself. Our ears and hearts and arms must be open to these hurting people. We must listen to their message.
I need to call the painters and floor installers sometime. I thought I had set up times for them to give me estimates, but no dates are in my calendar so again I will call. Later today I will receive my first Prolia infusion. This is a great accomplishment by my new rheumatologist as my PCP has been trying for decades (no exaggeration) for me to get this.