You're The Flame Ministries wants to be a safe municipality. We are jointly responsible for that. Nevertheless, there may be a situation that gives you a gut feeling: a situation in the municipality that you experience as (very) unsafe. It is good that you discuss this with a confidential advisor.
The municipality has appointed internal confidential advisers for the purpose of safety in the municipality. You can always approach them with your specific experience, your story, your questions.
In a meeting with the confidential adviser, you will be given all the space you need to say what you want to say. The confidential adviser offers you a listening ear, informs you, gives advice if necessary and discusses with you which possible follow-up steps can be taken and what support you would like.
The confidential advisers are reliable, neutral, handle the information provided confidentially and work completely independently.
No substantive statements are made in its accountability to the Council of Elders (RvO). The confidential advisers (almost) always work in pairs of a man and a woman.
Don't hesitate to contact them. You can do this by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You're The Flame Ministries Foundation joins SEM.
Our municipality has recently joined SEM, Stichting Evangelisch Meldpunt (until the end of 2019: Stichting Leidingscode Leidingerenden, SGL). This organization was set up at the beginning of this century by the Evangelical Alliance and has a double objective: to promote the reliability of managers and to do justice and to provide assistance in the event of (power) abuse.
The foundation wants to function as a joint facility for churches, congregations and organizations that base their policies and methods on the Bible as the inspired Word of God. We would like to inform you about the why and how of our connection with SEM.
Platform for reliable leadership
SEM wants to help the affiliated churches, congregations and organizations to guarantee the reliability of their managers. The code of conduct for managers is an important tool in this regard. It was finalized in June 2006. The rules of conduct from the code now apply to the leaders and pastoral employees in our congregation, including circle leaders, children's workers and youth leaders. The Foundation also helps us through information to develop policy that reduces the risk of abuse in relationships of trust and authority.
Abuse of power assistance
An important task for SEM is also to do justice and to provide assistance in the event of (alleged) abuse of power. This concerns sexual harassment and sexual abuse, abuse of power and financial abuse. In practice, this means that as a municipal member or participant in one of our activities, you can now contact the national SEM hotline with complaints about abuse of power. You can reach this on working days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. via the number: 085 – 4881419.
You will be assisted by a professional confidential adviser who is affiliated with SEM. After the telephone intake, there is the possibility of a follow-up interview with a confidential counselor involved in SEM, who works as a care provider in daily life. They can refer you to specialized care providers or lawyers or to the SEM complaints committee.
Complaints about sexual harassment and/or sexual abuse can be submitted in writing to the SEM complaints committee. This consists of experienced lawyers and social workers. SEM has a strict separation between board and complaints committee. Names of persons or municipalities involved are not disclosed to the board. The SEM confidential advisers can direct you to the complaints committee and inform you about the procedure. When it comes to serious complaints, we recommend submitting them to the SEM complaints committee. You can then count on professionalism and independence.
Pronunciation and advice
The complaints committee first determines whether your complaint is admissible, i.e. meets the formal requirements. If this is the case, the complaint will be investigated and a hearing will be applied. Complainants can be accompanied by a third party, for example the confidential adviser. Subsequently, the committee reaches a verdict (‘well-founded or not’) which is sent to all parties involved (complainant, involved manager or pastoral worker, board of our municipality). The decision is accompanied by a recommendation to our board about the measures to be taken towards the manager concerned and (possibly) the municipality. The board reports to the complaints committee what measures it has taken. It is not possible to appeal against a decision of the SEM complaints committee. This prevents lengthy procedures.
SEM wants to do this work in the mind of Christ. In conflict situations, the biblical way that the Lord outlines for us in Matthew 18:15-17 applies. If mutual reconciliation is not possible, there is now the way to the SEM complaints committee. This applies the principle that justice must be done to both parties in a pastorally responsible manner. We are looking for a ruling and advice that opens up new perspectives for all those involved. SEM (previously: the SGL) was founded as a possible alternative to going to secular justice. If a complainant is or has been involved in criminal or civil proceedings, the complaint will therefore not be processed. If such a procedure is initiated during the complaint handling, the handling will be stopped. Of course, complainants always retain the right to go to court. We sincerely hope that this will not be necessary in our municipality.
The Board of the municipality