How are we caring for children in our Meetings?

We have been given a sacred trust, as Quaker religious educators who work with children and youth, to nurture the spiritual growth of young Friends in a loving and safe community. This conversation will explore child safety and well-being during the pandemic. We will also look forward, considering this time away from in person meeting as an opportunity to develop child safety policies and consider family pastoral care for when we are together again.

Dates: Tuesday 9/22/2020, 1pm EDT (USA) & Thursday 9/24/2020 8pm EDT (USA). Conversation Circles meet online, using Zoom videoconferencing. The same topic is the focus on both dates — join for one, or both!

Facilitators: Tuesday, Kaia Jackson (Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting) & Thursday: Sita Diehl (Madison WI, Northern Yearly Meeting)

Queries:

  • What questions should religious educators be asking now about safety and pastoral care with children?
  • What are the components of a comprehensive, yet actionable child safety policy to prevent harm to children from within the Meeting?
  • What are the components of an effective child safety policy for virtual interaction?
  • What are the emotional needs of children and families during this time of stress?
  • What innovative systems can we set up for safety and accountability during the pandemic?
  • In our role as youth pastors, how can we balance teens needs for independence from their families with the need for child safety?
  • How can we talk with parents about sensitive matters in a loving, open way?
  • How can we hold ourselves accountable to eliminate bias in terms of class, race and disability?

Conversation Starters:

Tuesday:

  • Windy Cooler is a long-time First Day School teacher and public Friend. Her ministry is concerned with pastoral care to Quaker families. She is a member of Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting, Baltimore Yearly Meeting.
  • Shel Gross is the Convener of the NYM Children and Youth Committee, where he has worked on writing various policies to ensure clarity and consistency of practice. He formerly served on the FDS Committee at Madison Monthly Meeting where he was involved in developing the Meeting‚Äôs child safety guidelines and practices.

Thursday:

  • Melinda Wenner Bradley serves Philadelphia Yearly Meeting as the Youth Religious Life Coordinator. She has care of supervising the youth programs for the yearly meeting and provides support to local meeting religious education programs. She is a member of West Chester Meeting (PA) and wrote the meeting’s child safety policy in a collaboration with youth religious education and care and counsel committees.
  • Andrew Wright works as the Youth and Children’s Ministries Coordinator for Durham Friends Meeting in North Carolina and is active with young friends and on the Discipline Revision Committee for North Carolina Yearly Meeting Conservative.

Suggested Resources

 

Author: Quaker Religious Education Collaborative

Illustrator

Publisher: QREC

Age Group: Adults

Preparation Time

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Related Link (or File):  Click to go to link

TopicsAdministration, RE, Child Safety

An Introduction

The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is an international, cross-branch, grassroots network of Friends sharing a stewardship for lifelong Quaker faith formation through religious education. We formed in April 2014 and now serve more than 300 Friends in our network. We actively engage and support each other across languages and continents. We gather for regional and annual conferences and offer monthly Conversation Circles via an online conferencing platform.

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Finders Guide, a sampling of the collection

The QREC Resource Library is a place to share lessons and other educational information in support of our work as Quaker religious educators. This library is a forum for curricula, articles, videos and other educational materials on Quaker themes. You will also find principles, policies and procedures to strengthen operation of your child, youth and adult religious education programs.

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QREC holds an annual conference and retreat. In addition we hold online Conversation Circles and post other religious education events as we learn about them.

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