Thanks to the financial support of the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors [DDB] program, the second annual series of Church School Conferences ~ one in each Deanery (New Jersey, New York City, New York State) ~ was conducted during the month of August. Church School personnel, Parish Council members, and all parishioners who have contact with children in the course of their work in the Church were invited.
Mandated by the 2012 Diocesan Assembly, the morning session ~ “Reducing the Risk of Sexual Abuse in Your Parish” ~ was presented by Michael Herzak (CEO of Insurance Systems, Inc., Certified Risk Manager, and parishioner of Saint Michael Orthodox Church in Cleveland OH). The training he provided, equipped attendees with the knowledge of the actions needed to take in order to protect the children and parishes from the hazards of abuse. A video of his presentation will be available soon on the diocesan website in a special “Sexual Abuse Prevention” webpage which will feature other resources as well.
The afternoon session consisted of a guided group discussion regarding attendance, parent involvement, how to organize class sizes, and a practice lesson for all age groups.
“It is encouraging to see so many parishioners and clergy participate in these workshops and take the material so seriously,” said Matushka Andrea Diamantis (Director, Department of Christian Education). “In the future, I hope we, as a diocese, can have even greater participation and build off of the progress from this year’s conferences for the well-being of our children.”