June / July 2014
From the Editor. For almost a decade we had a well-crafted child safety policy in place. Recently, however, several members alerted us to our need to upgrade our policy commensurate with current law, which has become much stricter in light of the incidence of child abuse in our culture. The session consulted with several lawyers and members, one lawyer who has done extensive work with the Roman Catholic Church, and came up with an extensively revised policy. We realize that in churches of under 200 people the level of familiarity and trust can lead us to neglect consistent compliance with our stated policy. Presently we have appointed a child safety director who will oversee the consistent implementation of our policy, to protect us from unwarranted lawsuits, but most importantly to protect our children from potential abuse. We have found this to be a costly process. But we believe that the time and money we have invested is well worth it, since the health and welfare of our Lord’s church is at stake. We also believe that by passing on the results of our experience, the process of establishing and implementing a sound child safety policy will be less costly for other churches.
One of the unintended consequences of our efforts is that we have a policy that we can share with other churches. I must caution you that this is only an example, not necessarily a template, because the laws of your state, the requirements of your insurance company, and your situation may be different from ours. APC Policy on Child Safety; APC Volunteer Application.
During the process of researching the revision of our policy, I encountered the wisdom of two Shishko brothers, the sons of the longtime pastor of Franklin Square OPC in New York, Bill Shishko. They have each contributed to this topic in ways that I hope will be a great help to all of our congregations, under the guidance of church officers. Christopher brings his legal skills to bear on this topic in “Volunteers and Your Church: Avoiding Legal Pitfalls.” Jonathan applies his church planting abilities to the problem of implementing Christopher’s advice in a small congregation in “Improving on the Status Quo: Child Safety.”
Two pertinent reviews follow. Jen Foley reviews two short but poignant books on child abuse, written by a victim and his parents. On a positive note Cynthia Rowland reviews one in a series of books written for young people about influential Christian leaders in church history.
Diane Olinger reviews an important book on civil law and the Bible. Nine chapters survey this aspect of biblical theology and are a valuable resource for those involved in civil law, as lawyers or in other capacities, as well as pastors and church officers.
Finally, don’t miss two inspired poems by Solomon. They go together, and are excellent for reading in the presence of parents and their newborn children. I have used the King James Version as its poetry, in the literary atmosphere of Shakespeare, is incomparable.
The cover illustration is from a birthday card given to me from my granddaughter Maddie Welch, drawn when she was eight.
Blessings in the Lamb,
FROM THE ARCHIVES “SEXUAL IMMORALITY”
Ordained Servant exists to help encourage, inform, and equip church officers for faithful, effective, and God-glorifying ministry in the visible church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its primary audience is ministers, elders, and deacons of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as well as interested officers from other Presbyterian and Reformed churches. Through high-quality editorials, articles, and book reviews we endeavor to stimulate clear thinking and the consistent practice of historic, confessional Presbyterianism.