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* SPECIAL INTEREST TO PARENTS AND ADULTS CARING FOR CHILDREN *

As a parent I am concern & I want every adult to read this article from " Today's Pentecostal Evangel" about their website pro-active pre-emptive to reduce risk of child abuse while in a church program facility, and even for correspondence outreaches as is implemented by Mission group in Canada.

Visit now: "A/G Reducing the Risk"

Also these are other sites offering help to understand, how-to prevent and how to ask for help when a case of child abuse is known, offering community 7-steps to help prevent it.

Here are community websites with information & resources: "click here" to links with information and resources on how to recognize signs of child abuse and what to do to save the child

HELP CENTER on post-traumatic help for those sexually abused as children: "click" - for specifics information you MUST know to help a child from sexual abuse.

"click" New York State site information & links on sexually abused & missing children.

Report crimes on minors on your State by visiting "HERE"

"click" for another website with useful information and links.

" click here" for link to private corporation that support National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

"click" -for missing children database and informative articles and links.

"click" - for information on what is a 'sex offender' & more...

'click here' To visit community program offering 7-steps to protect children from adult sex abuse website


** HOW CHURCHES CAN ACT PRE-EMPTIVELY TO REDUCE RISK OF ABUSE IN THEIR YOUTH PROGRAMS **:

In the wake of sex abuse scandals involving various denominations, Assemblies of God churches are taking additional steps to examine their responsibility in acting pre-emptively and preventatively in order to protect children from harm. A new and innovative Web site: "A/G" contains a wealth of information, and updated "Reducing the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse" kit by Richard Hammar, has what a church needs to implement risk management program, promoted by insurance companies, "There is the impression that churches should 'trust' people rather than question their motives and background," Hammar says. " Yet Christian Ministry Resources, a tax and legal advice publisher serving more than 75,000 congregations and 1,000 denominational agencies nationwide, reports volunteers are more likely than paid staff to be abusers in Protestant churches. Dennis Gullion, associate pastor at Crossroads Cathedral A/G church, Oklahoma City, used the program to prevent convicted sex offender from working at Royal Rangers program for boys. A man asked to help, the church required completion of police check, inconsistencies in application raised red flags. With the help of police was discovered that he was a convicted sex offender using false identity. He is now in jail. "Pedophiles look for the weakest link,... They will visit a church, ask to help children, listen requirements and go to great lengths to earn the right to be alone with kids. So you have to go to great lengths to protect yourself and your children from harm.

A new and innovative Web site: 'Reducing the risk' contains a wealth of information, including an updated "Reducing the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse" resource kit developed by Richard Hammar, legal counsel for the General Council of the Assemblies of God. When first released in 1992, the kit set the standard on protecting against child abuse in churches. More than 120,000 copies were distributed. An entirely revamped kit has been reissued, and the Web site has every form that a church needs to implement a risk management program. It also contains online seminars that include the issuance of a certificate upon successful completion of an examination.

Hammar, who has produced a spectrum of resources on the subject of sexual abuse in churches, is widely viewed as the foremost expert on the topic.

Using the new tools, church leaders can verify that youth workers are trained in reducing the risk of child sexual abuse. With the new comprehensive support program, which is being promoted by insurance companies, church leaders can demonstrate that they are exercising reasonable care.

Despite the risk, many churches do not take measures to protect children from potential abuse for a number of reasons. "There is the impression that churches should 'trust' people rather than question their motives and background," Hammar says. "There is also an impression among church leaders that screening workers will make it more difficult to recruit volunteers, and there is a pervasive view that 'such incidents could never happen in our church.' "

Yet Christian Ministry Resources, a tax and legal advice publisher serving more than 75,000 congregations and 1,000 denominational agencies nationwide, reports volunteers are more likely than paid staff to be abusers in Protestant churches.

Dennis Gullion, associate pastor at Crossroads Cathedral Assemblies of God in Oklahoma City, credits screening procedures with preventing a convicted sex offender from working in their Royal Rangers program for boys. Almost two years ago a man visited the church and soon expressed interest in assisting with Royal Rangers.

The church requires completion of a background check prior to involvement in children's and youth ministry. Inconsistencies in the man's application raised red flags. With the help of local police it was discovered that the man was a convicted sex offender, was using a false identity and had a warrant out for his arrest. He is now in jail. Parents and children in that community are safe from him. However, them and all other communities must continue to be vigilant against other predators like this case.


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The Children's Rights Council (CRC) is an internationally recognized leader serving divorced, never-married and extended families and at-risk youth for more than 20 years. CRC promotes a society where laws, attitudes and public opinion affirm that "The Best Parent is Both Parents". Organized to serve the public purpose of advocating the healthy development of children, it is the mission of CRC to minimize the emotional, physical and economic abuse, neglect and distress of children and the development of at-risk behaviors following relationship breakups between parents involved in highly conflicted marital disputes. By guiding, informing, and coordinating alternative methodologies to parents, educators, health and human service professionals, faith-based counselors, legislators, and the public at-large, CRC is able to help reduce divorce and strengthen families through custody reform; parental mediation and training; conciliation and access; parental financial and educational support systems; legislative revision and court briefs. Visit: CRC map

SPECIAL CONCERN TO PASTORS & YOUTH LEADERS:

"After the event, there was a sense of confidence in the procedures of the church," Gullion says. "We care about the children...we are willing to take extra measures to be sure they are protected." As with Crossroads Cathedral, Freedom Valley Worship Center, Gettysburg, PA. protecting children is a priority by screening workers and other safety procedures. &nbp; In addition to mandatory police checks & references from workers, there's church policy that an adult should not be alone with a child for any reason... Leaders are aware of potential problems & are instructed to alert the police should a questionable situation arise. Robert Cirtin, director of criminal justice program, Evangel University, Springfield, MO, agrees with Hammar that the threat cannot be ignored. "Many people have the attitude that this cannot or will not happen in their church," he says. "People don't want to have to admit that they have to protect themselves from pedophiles, or that they have to take steps to protect their congregation's safety. We know from experience that it can happen in any church." "Pedophiles, like any other criminals, are looking for the weakest link," says David Boyd, director, Assemblies of God's National Children's Ministries Agency. "They will visit a church, express an interest in helping with the children, carefully listen to the requirements associated with that involvement. They go to great lengths to earn the right to be alone with kids. So you have to go to great lengths to protect them from those individuals." "Pedophiles figured out a long time ago that most churches don't screen people," says Cirtin. Donna Washburn, social work program field coordinator, Evangel University, recommends that churches implement a multi-pronged preventative abuse strategy that includes: * Conducting background, criminal & child abuse screenings on all individuals who work with children in the church. * Not allowing individuals to work alone in nursery programs or in any children's program. * Carrying out reference checks. * Having a six-month waiting period before allowing volunteers to work with children. * Installing windows in doors in children's areas.

Experts say these precautions are crucial. "It is a tragedy if we do not protect our children," Gullion says. "This is one of the ways that is provided for us to do so. Many churches are facing lawsuits, which can destroy a church, hurt the community and hurt the message of Christ." The legal issues surrounding child abuse are complex and vary from state to state. "Churches are not guarantors of the safety of minors," Hammar says. "They are legally responsible for the molestation of a child ONLY if they were negligent in the selection or supervision of the offender." However, churches that do nothing to screen volunteers & employees who may have unsupervised access to minors could be opening themselves to liability, Hammar says. Churches that implement safeguards are not only protecting children, but also establishing a defense against a charge of negligent. The new "Reducing the Risk II" resource kit devised by Hammar includes training videos on making a church safe from child sexual abuse, understanding the profile of child molesters, selecting & screening workers, principles of supervision and responding to allegations of abuse. Katy Attanasi "Pentecostal Evangel" AG-NEWS: The A/G News & Information Service, (c) 2005 To visit their links "CLICK HERE!"

To visit community program offering 7-steps to protect children from adult sex abuse website 'click here'


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"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you & not to harm you, plans to give you hope & a future." ~ Jer. 29:11. "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge & my fortress; my God, in Him will I trust.' Because you have made the Lord who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling" ~ Ps 91:1-2. "In this new life one's nationality or race or education or social position is unimportant; such things mean nothing. Wether a person has Christ is what matters, & He is equally available to all" ~ Col.3:11. * " For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first & also for the [nations] For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written,'The just shall live by faith'" ~ Rom. 1:16-17. "The key to godliness is not more knowledge of God but more obedience to Him" ~ Rom.6:16. "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; & to goodness, knowledge; & to knowledge, self-control, & to self-control, perseverance; & to perseverance, godliness; & to godliness, brotherly kindness; & to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective & unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" ~ 2 Pet.1:5 Every Christian is a minister of God's pardon ~ 2 Cor. 5:18-19
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* WE BELIEVE in one God eternally existent in three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), & God the Holy Spirit, & is Creator of all things.(Deut. 6:4; Mat. 2:19) * WE BELIEVE that the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, in His sinless life, His miracles, in His vicarious (He died in our place) & atoning (His death reconciled us with God and we receive that forgiveness when each one of us confess our sins & ask God to receive His pardon through Jesus finished work) death on the cross, that He was crucified, died, was buried, was bodily resurrected, ascended into heaven, & is now seated at the rigth hand of God the Father & is true God and true man. (John 1:1) * WE BELIEVE regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for personal salvation (Titus 3:5) & He indwell (lives within our spirit), encourage, correct, guide, teach, convict & nurture each born-again Christian believer. * WE BELIEVE the Bible in its entirety to be the inspired Word of God & the infallible rule of faith & daily conduct. (2 Tim. 3:16) * WE BELIEVE in the resurrection of the dead, the eternal happiness of the saved, & the eternal punishment of the lost. (Rev. 20:11-15) *WE BELIEVE in personal salvation of believers through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the only way that God give us to be cleansed from sin when we have personal repentance and faith in His salvation. (John 14:6) * WE BELIEVE in sanctification that His Holy Spirit make it possible to all born-again Christian has each one live a life pleasing to God through studying the Bible & following & applying the Word of God we find in the Bible by His Holy Spirit living in our spirit, & we believe in personal holiness, purity of heart and living a daily life in fellowship and communication with God our Father and Jesus our personal Lord & Savior.(Gal. 5:16-25) * WE BELIEVE in divine healing, in answer to believing prayer, through faith in the Name of Jesus Christ, & that healing is included for us today as part of Jesus atonement (His salvation at the Cross finished work of Redemption. (1 Peter 2:24) * WE BELIEVE in water baptism by immersion in public testimony to a personal acceptance of God's gift of reconciliation through Jesus salvation (New Birth)(Mat. 2:19); in the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as distinct from the New Birth, in speaking with tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance (Acts 2:4); in the gifts of the Spirit, and the evidence manifested through the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. We believe that all of these are available to all believers. * WE BELIEVE in the Cristian's hope, the soon-coming, personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:13) WE BELIEVE that marriage is the union of one man and one woman in the presence of God and that sex is a gift to be enjoyed only in this union.


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God, holiness, sin, Jesus, child, pedophile, sex, offend

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