By Ervin Stutzman
In August 2013, I announced the formation of a Discernment Group—six persons who agreed to guide our church as we seek to work redemptively with the complexities of sexual abuse and the legacy of John Howard Yoder. The group’s commitment is to reinvigorate a church-wide resolve to address the harm caused by ongoing abuse in our communities and to activate effective ways to prevent abuse going forward.
Over the last few months, the Discernment Group has been working behind the scenes, laying the groundwork for historical research, engaging the Constituency Leaders Council to activate system-wide awareness and resolve, and preparing materials for public release in response to questions often addressed to us. We are now ready to offer our answers to a list of ten Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), providing biblical, theological and pastoral grounding for our work. We have also prepared a list of resources regarding sexual abuse. You may find these materials, along with links to related blogs, on a new web page. We invite you to subscribe to our RSS feed in order to be notified whenever the site is updated.
I thank God for the opportunity to work with such wise, Spirit-attuned persons who care deeply about the integrity and health of our church. We hope that these resources will prove to be helpful as together we find our way forward into God’s healing and hope.