CIRCLE OF GRACE – Christian Safe Environment Program
Circle of Grace is the love and goodness of God that surrounds us and all others. It is the recognition that God is with us always and is there to help us in difficult situations. Through the Circle of Grace Program, adults assist children and youth to recognize God’s love by understanding that each of us lives and moves within a Circle of Grace. Your Circle of Grace holds your very essence in body, mind, heart, soul, and sexuality. This is taught in a visual and real way by the following meditation. One can demonstrate this thought and ponder its profound simplicity.
Raising your hands above your head and then bringing your arms slowly down keeping them outstretched. Extending your arms in front of you and then behind you embracing all of the space around you knowing that God is in this space with you. Then slowly reach down to your feet. This is your Circle of Grace.
You are in it.
Because this holistic concept includes all senses, it allows children and young people to identify uncomfortable situations long before inappropriate touch may occur. The Circle of Grace program teaches children and young people to seek help from a trusted adult, reinforcing God’s presence in their real life struggles.
Circle of Grace is a safe environment program, originally developed by the Archdiocese of Omaha, in response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Church. Adopted by MCC Canada, the program serves the dual purpose of educating and informing youth about the value of positive relationships with God and others.
Through the Circle of Grace program, adults assist children and youth to recognize that each of us lives within a Circle of Grace that holds our very essence in body, mind, heart, soul, and sexuality. Through the Circle of Grace program, children and youth are taught to identify and maintain appropriate physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual boundaries; recognize when boundary violations are about to occur; and demonstrate how to take action when boundaries are threatened or violated. This holistic concept allows children and youth to identify uncomfortable situations long before any inappropriate touch may occur. Those who molest children start to groom them by manipulation and secrecy. Circle of Grace helps children and youth to identify early on when they are uncomfortable with a situation and includes ways to seek the help of a trusted adult.
The program is self-contained for each grade with everything needed to teach the material. The Circle of Grace K-12 Program goals and objectives are met in all grades. Circle of Grace is clinically sound and grounded in the Christian tradition. Its strong parent component means parents can actively participate in their children’s education and formation.
The Goal of the Circle of Grace Program:
The goal of the Circle of Grace program is to educate and empower children and young people to actively participate in a safe environment for them- selves and others
Objectives of the program: Grades K Grades K-12
- Children and young people will understand they are created by God the Father and live in His love along with His son Jesus, and Holy Spirit.
- Children and young people will be able to describe the Circle of Grace which God gives each of us.
- Children and young people will be able to identify and maintain appropriate physical, emotional, spiritual, and sexual boundaries.
- Children and young people will be able to identify all types of boundary violations.
- Children and young people will demonstrate how to take action if any boundary is threatened or violated.
OUTLINE OF THE PROGRAM:
- Kindergarten – What is the Circle of Grace? The Stoplight: Feelings , Touch and Secrets Safety Plan
- Grade 1 – What is the Circle of Grace? The Stoplight: Feelings , Touch and Secrets Safety Plan
- Grade 2 – What is the Circle of Grace? The Stoplight: Feelings , Touch and Secrets Safety Plan
- Grade 3 – What is the Circle of Grace? Boundaries and our limits of our Circle of Grace Action Plan
- Grade 4 – Internet Safety
- Grade 5 -Understanding the Influence of the Media on our Circle of Grace
- Grade 6 – Circle of Grace: Pieces of the Puzzle Safe Relationships: Putting the Puzzle Together Boundaries: Every Piece has its Border Safety PLAAN: When Something Doesn’t Fit
- Grade 7 – Saying “No” to Disrespect: Honoring Everyone’s Circle of Grace
- Grade 8 – How to be Morally Responsible in Today’s Culture
- Grade 9 – “ A Cloud of Witnesses” Mary and Joseph say “Yes” When the Circle is Broken Action PLAAN
- Grade 10 – Recognizing and Responding to Boundary Violations
- Grade 11 – Boundaries and Emotional Grooming
- Grade 12 – Real Love vs. Counterfeit Love
Circle of Grace – Archdiocese of Omaha
If you have any questions or concerns about this program, contact Ruth Boehm at the church, 519-326-6391