Letters To the Editor
Send yours to pthorp.ed@votf.org

VOTF member's letter published in the Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio:

Dear Senators Spada, Jacobson and Fedor,

As a long standing board member of the national non-profit organization S.E.S.A.M.E. - Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct, and Exploitation, I wholeheartedly support the passage of SB 17 for the protection of our children.

Child sexual abuse has been and is at epidemic levels in our United States. Ohio has a reputation nationally of being a strong state legislatively in regard to child protection. Still, we know more can be done especially to protect children in our schools, public and private, and in our churches and community organizations. Every adult holding a role of sacred trust, while working, overseeing, and caring for minors, must be responsible and accountable for their safety. Thank you for your endeavor to create legislation to further protect our children from those who would do them harm.

John M. Seryak, M.Ed.
S.E.S.A.M.E. board member, Author: Dear Teacher, If You Only Knew! (Adults Recovering From Child Sexual Abuse Speak To Educator) A suggestion for some humor in In the Vineyardwas accompanied by the following list of "catches" from various church bulletins:

  1. The sermon this morning: "Jesus walks on water." This evening's sermon: "Searching for Jesus."
  2. Please pray for those who are sick of our community.
  3. Don't let worry kill you. Let the Church help.
  4. For those who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
  5. Next Thursday evening, there will be try-outs for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
  6. The sermon tonight is on "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to the choir.
  7. The ladies of the parish have cast-off clothing of all kinds. They may be seen on Friday afternoons in the basement.
  8. The Low Self-Esteem support group meets Friday evenings at 7 pm. Please use the back door.

From VOTF Worcester, MA Dan Dick:

"If there is one thing that President Bush has got right, it is recognition of the worldwide drive for self-determination, democratic processes, and constitutional government.

That drive is not only being expressed in secular societies but, increasingly, in theocracies where a small minority of self-selected males has held power for far too long. The sex abuse scandals in Roman Catholicism and in the Greek Orthodox Church, and the archaic and cruel treatment of women in other traditions reflect the widening cracks in a system of governance that is way out of step with where the rest of the world is rightly heading.

Our local diocese may be awakening to this threat to its former position of trust and its dwindling authority over others. The renewed emphasis on the claimed role of the celibate priest in incarnating the body and blood of Christ, the exhortations to departed Catholics to 'come home,' and a day-long conference for Catholic men are reactions to the fact that the structure of this theocratic church is out of step with the legitimate strivings of peoples of both genders who demand to be free of this arbitrary and male- only type of governance.

Those churches and societies who, on the other hand, welcome democracy and equality of men and women are thriving. Maybe, one day, the theocracies will see the light and join the community of the rest of us."

From Margaret Cook:
"I have just finished reading your book Keep the Faith, Change the Church. It was most interesting and moving. My husband and I have been Catholics for 84 years each, so we have lived it the way it was and the way it has become. What it has become is not good. We have been upset with what has happened to our Church but, until we read your book, we believed there was no hope. However, we see a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you. We would like to know more about you and how to join you."



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In the Vineyard
March 2005
Volume 4, Issue 3

Page One

National News - USCCB CHARTER Discussion in VOTF

VOTF Best Practice February 2005

Council News

Book Review


Prayer for the Paschal Season

Affiliate News

In the Vineyard Archives

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