Two-Day Seminar
Tampere, Finland
Thursday and Friday, August 30-31, 2018
The Foundations of Sexual Harassment and Abuse in the Church

#turvallinenseurakunta #safechurch

The goal of this seminar is to introduce a sound framework for structured conversation and response to sexual harassment and abuse in the church. The seminar speakers are seasoned psychologists, academics, ministers and church leaders. The informative, engaging lectures are intended for interdenominational ministry preparation as well as in-service training for elders, trustees, lay leaders, and other paid or unpaid staff individuals in Christian service.

In this seminar participants will learn what is meant by sexual abuse and why it matters. The attendees will hear how victims of abuse are traumatized and often carry their secret for a lifetime. Christian contexts may burden victims with the additional misinterpreted or misplaced sense of guilt, making the young and the vulnerable perceive the fault or sin as their own. It will be demonstrated that sexual misconduct can hide undetected and go unaddressed behind the pulpit and in the pews for decades due to layers of systemic, even if unintended, dysfunction.

The seminar organizers’ aim is to initiate and facilitate factual, research-based, practice-oriented, and above all, constructive conversation about sexual abuse in the Christian community. The seminar theme #safechurch, #turvallinenseurakunta, implies that sexual harassment and/or abuse is a true but preventable phenomenon. Besides establishing organizational, systemic, and appropriate sexual health and behavior guidelines for the future, psychological and spiritual healing of former and current victims is of paramount importance to the presenters and organizers.

We invite all interested persons to attend who are involved in some aspect of Christian ministry either as trained professionals or trusted volunteers. The seminar is most appropriate also for seminary students, elders, counselors, and board members of Christian organizations.
The seminar is held both in Finnish and English. Simultaneous interpretation is available.


#turvallinenseurakunta symposium agenda
Thursday Aug. 30, 2018
 SLIDES MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION 

9:00-9:45
Welcome, greetings, and introduction
Timo Lehikoinen, Hannu Vuorinen, Marjo Mitsutomi

9:45-10:30
“In God we trust; all others bring data”
Jerry Platt

Coffee break

10:45-11:30
“Sexual abuse trauma and the impact of shame”
Tracy Covington

11:30-12:15
“The creation of trauma in mind-brain-body connections”
Kurt Bickford

Lunch

13:00-13:45
“The broken spirit after sexual abuse”
Margaret Green

13:45-14:30
“#metoo in Uganda”
Medad Birungi

“#totuusvapauttaa campaign update”
Heli Inkinen

Coffee break

14:45-16:15
“From Darkness” documentary
Discussion

Dinner

18:00-20:00
Studia Generalia (open to the public) – Panel Discusssion

Friday Aug. 31, 2018

9:00-9:45
Story of #metoo in the #churchtoo
Marjo Mitsutomi

9:45-10:30
“Strategies for rediscovering true self”
Tracy Covington

Coffee break

10:45-11:30

“Healing of traumatized neuro-biological connections”
Kurt Bickford

11:30-12:15
“Put me back together again after sexual abuse”
Margaret Green

Lunch

13:00-13:30
“#rikotutrajat update”
Tommi Koivunen

13:30-14:15
“On Measuring the Immeasurable: Researching Church Sexual Abuse”
Jerry Platt

Coffee

14:30-15:15
“Christian education and leadership in the age of #metoo”
Timo Lehikoinen

15:15-16:00
“Perspectives and directions for #safechurch strategies”
Hannu Vuorinen