Working Group Update
On August 21, 2015 the working group met with Anglican Church representatives to review the June 15 Apology event and to discuss steps to ensure the apology would have genuine meaning for survivors, families and the community.
All agreed the apology event would have benefitted from offering opportunity for dialogue between the bishops and community members. The event did encourage people to connect and mingle after the formal program and this was valuable. People expressed comfort in recognizing they were not alone. The bishops commented there is work to do and they have a big learning curve in relationship building with survivors, families and the community. The Anglican Primate will make a formal statement about the apology during a convention with Lutherans in Toronto November 13 to 15.
All agreed the Bulletin article by Marion Little offered important community information about the Church’s responsibility to act and ensure there are steps to prevent clergy abuse. Other steps requested by the community or discussed with the church include:
• Making sure the filmed apology is on diocese website and making a YouTube link
• Removing the cherry tree at St. Martin’s Church which commemorated Mr. Nakayama
• Scheduling a community meeting as soon as possible for Bishop Melissa Skelton to meet with survivors, families and the community. Working group was informed Bishop Skelton has taken personal responsibility upon apologizing and understands the importance of meeting face to face.
• Removing Mr. Nakayama’s materials from museums and institutions and returning them to the family
• Setting up a scholarship
• Making Mr. Nakayama’s confession public
• Provide community education about clergy sexual abuse through developing education resources such as webinar training and community workshops
Our meeting included discussion about supporting survivors and families through reaching out and offering opportunities to dialogue. If it is easier the working group can offer suggestions for apology follow up steps but first it is important to be supportive and build trust with survivor families. Working group members are available to personally meet with survivor families and their friends if families feel this would help.
All agreed it would be positive if there were concrete actions taken within a year by the church to demonstrate the genuineness of their apology. As a lesson learned through the Residential School Truth and Reconciliation process, the church expresses the need to first ensure the community accepts any reconciliation steps they offer. The working group will continue to meet with the church on a regular basis as these reconciliation steps are developed and shared with the community for their acceptance.
Working Group Meeting of
September 10, 2015:
As a follow up to the August 21st meeting, the working group met on September 10 and agreed on the following actions:
1. Arrange and schedule a community meeting with Bishop Melissa Skelton at the earliest opportunity and ensure families and community members are given plenty of notice about the meeting to encourage full attendance and participation.
2. Schedule a community education workshop on the topic of clergy sexual abuse in a community, its effects and what to do. The working group will contact Marion Little to see if she is available to facilitate such a community education event in early 2016.
Follow up – September 25, 2016:
Bishop Melissa Skelton spoke briefly with a working group member on September 13 and expressed her enthusiasm about a personal meeting with families and the community at the earliest opportunity.
Please read The Bulletin for updates and further notice as we will work on scheduling a meeting with Bishop Skelton in November.