A Ministry of Make and Deepen Disciples

Hands | Embrace Service

Make a difference with and for those who have been sexually marginalized or abused

This section seeks to help churches make a real difference in the lives of people who are LGBT who have been marginalized, victimized, or neglected. As this section develops, it will include not only resources but also recommended partnerships and initiatives in which your church could engage.

I. Featured

Sexual Harassment: Response and Prevention
By The Evangelical Covenant Church

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to community where women and men work together in a “blessed alliance,” seeking to bring the Gospel to a broken and struggling world. When people in our communities find the courage and the space to speak up about harassment, trauma, and abuse, our churches can be just the safe sanctuary needed to have helpful, honest conversation that works to raise awareness, incite healing, and lament brokenness. Toward that end, the following resource is offered as a starting point for congregations and their leaders.

Finding Common Ground on LGBTQ+ Ministry
By Randall Wilkens with contributions from Make and Deepen Disciples and a feedback team

Rooted in the values expressed in our six Covenant affirmations, the Evangelical Covenant Church has historically sought to find common ground on areas where many Christians have been divided. In light of this heritage, a diverse group of Covenanters (initially spearheaded by Pastor Randall Wilkens) developed a list of suggested ways in which we might find common ground in our ministry with and to LGBTQ+ people. This document is not meant to be an “official” statement or resolution of the ECC, but we do believe it can serve as a starting point for conversations on how we can all tangibly excel in love for LGBTQ+ people.

Advocacy for Victims of Abuse (AVA)
By The Evangelical Covenant Church

The Evangelical Covenant Church addresses sexual assault and its related concern, domestic violence, through the Advocacy for Victims of Abuse (AVA) initiative. As a church we acknowledge the reality of brokenness and sin in the world as well as the power of the community to heal brokenness through Jesus Christ. AVA informs, educates, and raises awareness in our congregations and communities.

AVA Online Tutorial
By The Evangelical Covenant Church

This is a self-paced tutorial on abuse for clergy, spiritual leaders and teachers. It was created by AVA (Advocacy for Victims of Abuse), a ministry of Women Ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church. The purpose of this tutorial is to provide leaders with needed information on issues of domestic violence (also referred to as family violence) and childhood sexual assault. Given the prevalence of abuse, all faith leaders need basic knowledge about these two types of violence. This format permits you to gain this information at your convenience and at no cost to you.

II. Partnerships

Give Shelter – Posture Shift Justice Initiative
By Posture Shift

Since fall 2017, Posture Shift has been building a database of shelters around the nation that serve LGBT+ homeless youth with excellence. This initiative seeks to mobilize the church to build “justice bridges” from local churches to local LGBT+ shelters and drop-in centers.

Local churches throughout the U.S. can connect with local shelters in tangible ways, including donating winter wear, sponsoring teens for holiday gifts, and funding education and job skills training to help LGBT+ youth realize independent living.

Learn more about this initiative and others by going to https://postureshift.com/justice/.

We Want to Hear From You

As we develop Embrace, we hope to receive feedback from diverse voices, especially with regard to existing resources or experiences which you have found to be helpful and effective. Feel free to connect with us anytime at embrace@covchurch.org.

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