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Answering the Church's Objections

Before New England churches made headlines with allegations of sexual abuse, I found James Cobble's materials on protecting children in the church's care. I was convinced we needed some policies to safeguard our kids, and I passed the kit on to Robert Fricke, a member of our Christian education board. He was equally impressed with Cobble's materials.

Robert presented the materials to the church board, and they instructed him to research and draft a formal policy.

The new guidelines require children's workers to submit to an in-depth application, an interview with the pastor, a criminal background check, and training on abuse and appropriate conduct. Our policy also prohibits activities involving children without at least two adults present.

Both the board and our church's lawyer approved the policy. But to implement it, we needed the church's approval, too.

Initial opposition

The board distributed written copies of the proposal to the church membership and scheduled a question and answer session ...

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