Primer: Victim Blaming 101

Jules Woodson first appeared in the media roughly a year ago, when fellow blogger Dee Parsons, among others, covered her sexual abuse at the hands of her former youth pastor, Andy Savage. A teen at the time, Jules accepted a ride home from Andy, only to be coerced into a sexual encounter along a dark road. Since then,… Read More »

Thugs in the Pulpit: Avoiding Abuse from Church Leaders

“When it comes to controlling human beings, there is no better instrument than lies. Because you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts.” Michael Ende link Over the weekend, I decided to Google church and pastoral abuse. Normally, we already have a situation in… Read More »

Vt. Episcopal Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown On Inclusion

Shannon MacVean-Brown, the newly elected bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, recently spoke to National Public Radio (NPR) about the challenges facing The Episcopal Church (TEC) particularly in a region where relatively few attend any church, and where TEC has a small footprint. Her comments on inclusion are noteworthy, particularly as they pertain to abuse. “If the… Read More »

Moving Forward to Address Clergy Misconduct

Years ago, activists within The Episcopal Church began clamoring for the development of programs to prevent and address sexual misconduct. The move came at a time when the church was struggling to find ways to include those who historically had been marginalized on the basis of gender, national origin, sexual orientation, and other criteria. Many among those groups… Read More »

Things I Think

The following excellent observations on abuse of power and church is courtesy of the Rev. Richard Newnham, His blog is here. 1. I talk a lot about how the “business model” has usurped the “family model” of church governance…the “congregation” has replaced “employees” and they have as much say about how the church is run as the average… Read More »

Long-Term Effects of Church Abuse

Reprinted with permission. Stephen Parsons, a retired Anglican priest, publishes Survivingchurch.org, a blog dedicated to church abuse of every sort. After church on Sunday I took part in two conversations over coffee which indirectly touched on the church abuse issue.  Neither mentioned in any way spiritual/sexual abuse, but each of them reminded me how much and for how… Read More »

Interim Ministry: A Vital Step Towards Congregational Health?

I’ll be the first to admit: I’ve often been no fan of interim ministries. Why? Because these interregnums are too often periods of turmoil and confusion, in which churches and their members are left to flounder, while giving and membership collapse. But when understood and done correctly, interim ministry is a vital step towards congregational health. Part of… Read More »

Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia Tries to Bully Whistleblower Phil Snyder Into Silence

Ed: Please consider donating to Phil’s GoFundMe effort. Tenth Presbyterian in Philadelphia, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of America, a conservative neo-Calvinist denomination, is again trying to silence a whistleblower. Specifically, church officials have filed suit against former member and deacon Phil Snyder, who has repeatedly spoken out about allegations of sexual misconduct involving the church. Before we… Read More »