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About Us

Safe Church is now a part of Thrive (read more about this name change).

Thrive's safe church work equips congregations in abuse awareness, prevention, and response. We help build communities where the value of each person is honored; where people are free to worship and grow free from abuse; and where abuse has occurred, the response is compassion and justice that foster healing.

Thrive offers training and support to volunteer safe church team members so that they can be resources for their congregations and classes. Team members provide learning opportunities, support, and consultation in their own local contexts.

Amanda Benckhuysen

Rev. Amanda Benckhuysen, Ph.D.

Safe Church Ministry Consultant

Amanda comes to this position as a former campus minister and seminary professor with significant experience mentoring leaders for ministry and mission. From her experience journeying with those who have experienced harm and abuse in the church, Amanda felt called to help churches become healthier and safer places.

616-224-0717

Julia Rathbun, BSW

Safe Church Consultant

Julia Rathbun comes to this position as a former case management supervisor for Unaccompanied Minor Foster Care at Bethany Christian Services. Her experience includes working with unaccompanied minors from around the world, from a diverse variety of backgrounds, specifically serving individuals with significant trauma. I am committed to supporting churches as they create a safer space that allows all to worship and fellowship without the fear of experiencing abuse.

616-287-1652


“It is a profound privilege to listen to, minister to, work with, and advocate for those who have been victimized by abuse in the church.  We grieve the harm that has been done to so many by those who claim to love Jesus.  And we are committed to working with churches and ministries in the CRC to create safer spaces where the value of each person is protected and people are free to worship God and grow in faith free from abuse.”

What We Do

Consultation: provide assistance and support in situations where allegations of abuse are brought forward

Policy support: provide coaching and input into the development of safe church policies

Abuse of Power: lead trainings and seminars on abuse of power and the cultivation of healthy Christian communities that resist abuse

Investigations: arrange for investigations that assess the gravity and probability of abuse in situations for which the Advisory Panel process is not suitable

Advisory Panel Process: work with Safe Church Coordinators to put together and support Advisory Panels who assess the gravity and probability of allegations of abuse

Safe Church Coordinator Training and Support: work with Safe Church coordinators and teams across the CRCNA to promote abuse awareness, prevention, and response