A picture of Reverend Christine at the pulpit during her installation ceremony

I am going to write about the misconduct event for this one final week. But this week, I want to address something amazing that came out of it.  

In addition to the people at the center of this situation, this event struck home with the many people who have experienced misconduct, abuse or boundary-crossing in their past. For many of them, this took them right back to the situation where they were abused, told someone, or decided to hide it in shame.  

I heard–over and over again–that our board’s handling of the situation with openness and transparency created opportunities for healing.  

We know the statistics of abuse are high–as much as 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some kind of abuse by someone they know in their lifetime, and we know that these statistics cross race, income, and class lines. So it must follow that it affects a number of folks in the UUCP community as well.  Over these past few weeks, so many of them have been brave to share their stories, and they had this to say:

  • That saying “we believe the child” was transformative and healing for them.
  • That naming the people involved took away the mystery of what had happened in a transformative way.
  • That having clear boundaries that were unambiguous felt like safety for them. 
  • That several of them–especially ones who had experienced misconduct in a church setting–felt like this act was more healing for them than anything else they had experienced.  

I’m so sad that our congregation had to go through something hard like this, however I am reminded that HOW we do this ministry together is important, life-saving and revolutionary. And I am so glad for the stories that you all shared these last few weeks so we can understand the full impact of our actions.  

I am in awe of you. I am humbled by you. I am so grateful to serve with you.