On September 18-21, local, regional, and national leaders from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will participate in a National Gathering to be inspired and equipped to address child sexual abuse and trafficking. The Gathering will be held at Lial Renewal Center in Whitehouse, OH.
Bishop Marcus Lohrmann of the Northwestern Ohio Synod ELCA will give the keynote address. In a recent letter to church leaders in his synod, he wrote, “We are honored to be hosting the Cherish All Children National Gathering in Northwestern Ohio. This once in a generation event has the potential to move the Cherish All Children ministry forward in all of our congregations and help us to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and young adults in our synod.”
Local leaders are providing key information and training:
- Jeannie Dennler, a psychologist and member of St. Lucas Lutheran Church in Toledo, and Joan Staib, a licensed therapist at Lutheran Social Services of NW Ohio, will lead a “Stewards of Children” training for preventing child sexual abuse.
- Marchon Noon, Case Management Supervisor for Second Chance in Toledo, will speak about their work with trafficking victims and how faith communities can be involved.
There will also be workshops about resources available to congregations; how to get started with a prevention ministry in your congregation, including prayer, education, relationship-building, and action; issues facing all communities and congregations; and how to write child protection policies.
Sister Mary Dean Pfahler of Lial Renewal Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Notre Dame, will serve as the prayer leader during the Gathering.
For more information about Cherish All Children, visit www.cherishchildren.org
Cherish All Children, based in Minneapolis, is a national Lutheran ministry of prayer, education, relationship-building, and action to prevent child sexual exploitation. This is their fourth National Gathering and the first time it is being held in Ohio.