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SBC DIGEST: Child safety standards offered for review; Windermere’s future uncertain

‘Ground-Breaking’ child safety standards offered for public review by Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP) – The Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention (ECAP) has released “ground-breaking” standards for child safety and opened them for public review Monday (March 1). The standards are offered to assist ministries of all kinds as they work to protect children in their care.

The ECAP standards were developed by a team of experts and ministry practitioners, reviewed by a team of attorneys and approved for public review by the ECAP board of directors. A full list of persons who helped develop the standards is available on the ECAP website. ECAP seeks to bring support, resources and sustainability to the realm of child safety, especially within the evangelical world, which has witnessed abuse within its ranks and the surrounding culture.

“Our aim is to honor the name of Christ by equipping and educating ministry leaders to protect the vulnerable in their care,” said Jeff Dalrymple, executive director of ECAP. “This is a matter of biblical stewardship, and we want to see Christian schools, churches and ministries become safe places for our little ones to hear the Gospel, grow as disciples of Christ and be protected from harm.”

The ECAP standards address issues of organizational governance, volunteer and employee screening and training, how to respond to a variety of circumstances and more, with numerous suggestions for best practices. ECAP has made these standards available for public review from March 1-April 30, seeking feedback that is either specific or general, as well feedback that identifies areas that need clarification or are missing information.

Read the full press release here.

Review the standards here.

Windermere closes for March, April as camp looks to future

ROACH, Mo. (BP) – Straightway Holdings Inc., a subsidiary of the Missouri Baptist Foundation (MBF) and owner of the Windermere Baptist Conference Center since 2019, announced Monday (March 1) that Windermere will be closed during March and April as it looks to the campground’s future – a future that may include the eventual sale of the property.

The announcement came after Straightway Holdings received notice from the lessee/camp operator, Arukah Cove, Inc. (ACI), that it would cease operations at the campground as of Feb. 28.

In a written statement, the ACI board said, “Due to the financial hardships caused by COVID-19 during 2020, and continued uncertainty concerning future operations due to COVID-19 in 2021, along with the unpredictability regarding future government restrictions, ACI regretfully informs SHI it has exhausted all options, declared itself financially insolvent, and is ceasing operations effective February 28, 2021.”

Neil Franks, president of Straightway Holdings, said, “ACI started their ministry and were hit with COVID-19 within 60 days of starting. No one could have predicted the length or impact of COVID-19 on the restaurant, lodging and camping industries. After 12 months into the pandemic, there is still no clear end in sight. We are grateful to the staff and the board of ACI who worked tirelessly to keep ministry running during this unprecedented time. We grieve with the ACI staff and board in this unfortunate end.”

Straightway Holdings Inc. assumed operations of Windermere March 1.

The camp will be closed for the months of March and April to make dining hall repairs from a fire in December and an ice storm in February. Plans are now underway to determine what limited camp and retreat offerings will be open for this summer. More information will be published on the campground’s new website in the next few weeks (www.MidMoRetreat.com).

Read the full story here.

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