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Professional Standards training on the way

After successful pilots in the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, the LCA’s Professional Standards Department launched its new training program this month. The format of the program includes a workshop model of blended face-to-face and online delivery.

A key feature of this program has been the creation of a short video introducing the LCA’s Standards of Ethical Behaviour (SEB). Underpinned by Scripture and church policy, these standards outline the expectations in attitude and behaviour of all who come under the banner of the Lutheran church. These standards apply equally to all aspects of church life and its ministries. The SEB are summarised in a brochure currently being distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Congregations will receive a letter from LCA Bishop John Henderson and Professional Standards Department Manager Tim Ross. As well as copies of the brochure, the letter provides a link to the introductory video and details of the training program’s workshop structure.

A major element of the program is a core workshop, which will be essential for pastors (including retired pastors), chaplains, elders, pastoral assistants, church council members, and people in leadership positions, including all who engage with people under the age of 18 as part of their ministries. Congregations can contact their district’s Professional Standards Officer regarding dates and times for local workshops and well as liaising to host workshops.

Mr Ross said the area of Professional Standards was an important one for all churches. The LCA liaises with other denominations and has been carefully following proceedings at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He said that, unfortunately, Lutheran congregations were not immune from incidents of abuse. ‘We must treat our people properly and bring love to life’, he said. ‘We must protect our children and the vulnerable from harm.’

For further details, contact your district’s Professional Standards Officer. They are: Dave Biar (SA/NT); Jill Hagen (NZ); Carolyn Kiss (NSW); Elizabeth Kloeden (Qld); Wayne Lentsment (Vic/Tas); and Monika Tropiano (WA).