Buffalo always receives some national attention this time of year. Cold winters are usually good for at least one newsworthy storm impacting the Buffalo region. Epic storm or not, WNY always has a documented level of gloom this time of year. Even when a winter hasn't produced as many inches of snowfall as may have been expected, the area still experiences only a handful of moments in a month when the sun is actually visible in the sky. For many, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is having a real impact on their ability to handle even the easiest tasks.   

Buffalo however, has received some national attention in 2019 for a different kind of storm. The chill descending over the Diocese of Buffalo, New York, is not just the cold winds blowing off Lake Erie. Substantial abuse claims and leadership scandal(s) have grabbed the nation's attention, and have brought a highly increased level of scrutiny to religious organizations of every denomination. We live in an era where safe practices should not be taken lightly or sheepishly. Support for ensuring children, youth, those with disabilities and vulnerable adults is at the forefront of all our minds.

What steps is Randall Church taking to keep our kids safe? Whether the lead pastor of a church, a children's ministry director, a volunteer, or a parent of young children, we all have a role to play in keeping our children safe. Here are three simple steps we practice to ensure Randall is on its way to being a safe and secure place for kids:
  • Step 1: We implement safety and security policies without exception.
  • Step 2: We include a volunteer application and follow-up interviews as routine.
  • Step 3: We do official criminal background checks, and re-do them annually.
It's time for us to be an instrument of change. I believe the world is watching, and we the local church need to not only be transparent with how we handle our policies, but in how we respond to crisis. As J.D. Greear recently stated: "Our goal is for our response to abuse to match the Gospel we proclaim with our mouths," he said. "The Gospel declares Jesus laid down His life for the vulnerable. We need to defend them." 

Pastor Milo
@milowilson

**Please take a moment to read though our Randall Kids Handbook for additional safety measures