Public Statement Concerning the Harassment of Staff
Committee for Guidance and Support of the Office of Social Justice, charged with supporting and guiding the Christian Reformed Church of North America’s (CRCNA) Office of Social Justice (OSJ) has sent a communication to the Council of Delegates executive committee expressing our concerns about the harassment of staff, and has asked the COD to take specific actions to protect and support the staff and this vital ministry. We issue this public statement in connection with that private letter.
We affirm that the Church and its institutions are charged to duly support, care for, and encourage those in this ministry.
The CRCNA has a long and rich history of engaging in and supporting the work of social justice as a core component of our mission. For over a half a century the CRC has been finding ways to seek justice in this world on behalf of the oppressed. The OSJ has been repeatedly affirmed and re-affirmed by synod for its work on issues such as "peace making, creation care, immigration reform, and global poverty" and commending the staff for "stirring up the people of the CRC to become better advocates for those negatively impacted by these issues."
We affirm the mandate, and offer our thanks to the OSJ staff who dutifully carry out their work exercising their gifts, skills,and competence; courageously serving in the ministry of the OSJ.
As a committee, we are deeply grieved by the ongoing harassment the dedicated staff at the OSJ have had to endure. Action is required to ensure that these servants can carry out their ministry safely and effectively. We decry the sinful acts of overt hostility and verbal abuse, harassment and bullying.
Demeaning, and overt racist and sexist statements made against our co-laborers in this ministry are well documented including organized efforts to disrupt the ministry as well as specific threats of physical violence against the ministry and the people serving in that ministry.
So today, we have called on the COD to take specific action to support the staff and put an end to the unnecessary harassment the staff have had to endure.
To the member churches of the Christian Reformed Church, and to the dedicated staff of the ministries of the Christian Reformed Church, please join us in:
- Fully supporting the Office of Social Justice’s core mission;
- Affirming and thanking the staff for carrying out the important mission of the CRCNA to be instruments of Christ's redeeming justice in the world and;
- Committing to affirm the importance of respectful dialogue on issues of disagreement among the church and respect for the individuals carrying out the work.
For comments or questions, to voice concerns or support, please contact the Committee for Support and Guidance of the Office of Social Justice at: [email protected].
By the Committee for Guidance and Support of the Office of Social Justice of the Christian Reformed Church in North America