Break the Silence Sunday Resources
In 2019, the 32nd General Synod of the United Church of Christ passed a prudential resolution:
• Calls upon the national church leadership, Conferences, Associations, and local churches to speak out in support of survivors of rape and sexual violence, offer care to individuals, including silent supportive witness in courtrooms, and advocate for sexual violence prevention education
• Calls the national setting of the United Church of Christ, as an act of repentance and commitment to healing, to add an annual observance of Break The Silence Sunday (BTSS) to its calendar with the suggested date of the fourth Sunday of April so as to occur within national sexual assault awareness month;
• Invites local churches to participate in an annual observance of Break The Silence Sunday, on the suggested Sunday or any date or dates deemed appropriate, honoring within their worship, education, and community contexts the stories and struggles of survivors of rape and sexual violence, and encourage such an observance in the ecumenical community;
• Encourages all settings of the church to treat survivors of sexual violence and their stories (paying particular attention to the needs of communities of color, LGBTQ+ identifying people, and people with disabilities) with due care and preparation, allowing time for education, self-care, and gathering of resources;
• Encourages all settings of the United Church of Christ to educate clergy and laity on how to support survivors of rape and sexual violence including trauma-informed care, and to advocate on behalf of those not yet ready to speak openly so that the voices of survivors do not speak alone.
The United Church of Christ acknowledges the decades of work of The Rev. Moira Finley, whose persistence continues to lift up the need of our churches to do a better job of ministering to sexual assault survivors. With gratitude, we endorse her worship materials for Break the Silence Sunday, which are available here: https://breakthesilencesunday.org.
Local Church Resources