So, I've been thinking...in my particular faith tradition we put a lot of effort a few years back into making the church a safe place for children - and adults - in terms of sexual abuse/misconduct prevention. So much effort that we have mandatory training, awareness, procedures and the like that are highly effective. Consciousness and levels of care have been raised to appropriate levels. I'm so very glad we've done that work. It has paid off.
So, here's my question: Could we do something similar for our clergy and lay employees? Could we make the church a safe place to work? Could we initiate standard accepted procedures and practices for hiring and firing, and outline processes for what to do when things don't seem to be working out? Could we mandate HR training?
It seems to me that this is one of the biggest ongoing problems for us. And the degree of power imbalance and lack of accountability and transparency that goes along with these situations sets us up for creating undue hurt, trauma, and long-term scarring of clergy's and layworkers' vocations (not to mention that of their families), as well as confusing parishioners and damaging their faith in the institutional church.