McFarland United Church of Christ / 5710 Anthony St. / April 28, 2019 / 10 am
This service is part of a national initiative within the United Church of Christ to promote healing and to open up safe space for survivors to share their stories and to receive support, hope, and love. According to MUCC’s pastor, Bryan Sirchio,
“the special focus of this time of worship will mark the official beginning of our congregation’s intention
to prayerfully consider ways in which our community can, in an ongoing way, advocate for healing and
change regarding the tragic realities connected to sexual abuse and violence.”
“We respect and honor the fact that some people will prefer not to be present at a service such as this.
That’s one of the reasons why we are doing our best to let people know about this in advance and to
encourage them to opt out if that’s best for them. The last thing we want is for someone to feel
blindsided or triggered. On the other hand, we’ve already been contacted by a number of people who
plan on coming precisely because they want and need the Church to not only provide healing and hope
for victims, but because this issue has been a huge part of their own life’s journey. The Institutional
Church in general across all denominations has done a very poor job owning it’s own painful history
when it comes to issues of sexual violence and clergy sexual abuse in particular. Part of this service will
involve an official apology on behalf of the Church for it’s failures in this regard.”
is welcome to contact Rev. Sirchio at the church to discuss the content of the service and the overall
reason why the congregation feels compelled to embrace this initiative.