Jennifer Roach earned a Masters of Divinity from the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology and a Masters of Counseling from Argosy University. She was an ordained Anglican Pastor prior to her baptism 18 months ago in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
4:20 Introduction to Jennifer. Spoke about bishops interviews at FairMormon conference. Recent interview on Latter-Day Lives.
5:43 How she was introduced to the Book of Mormon through a reporter who was covering a lawsuit she was involved in. She was happy in her church, and not “looking” for anything. Introduced to the Pearl of Great Price, particularly the Book of Moses. She thought it was fan-fiction.
8:24 Speaks of giving up ordination and position in her church. Family supported, leaders supported, community questioned.
10:24 She was a survivor of abuse in her church growing up, starting about age 14.
12:50 Discussion regarding bishop interviews and her interest and research into it. Teenagers need a safe place to talk about issues; it is vital in an “incredibly confusing world”. What do teenagers need, what do abuse victims need?
14:53 Kids with best outcomes are those with three adults in their lives, besides their parents, that they can relate to. Mom and dad should still be safety net, but others are needed (James Furrows research). The importance of the “person who is at the top of the organization” knows and cares about the youth.
20:45 4 reasons why bishops should be meeting with youth
- It is developmentally important to them to have these discussions. This is a high expectation religion. If they are going to stay, they need to know that they are accountable to bishop.
- The peers of LDS teens are getting this support and these interviews in other churches (Catholic/Protestant)
- Even though bishops are not specifically asking about abuse, discussions about chastity can sometimes bring out hints of abuse. 75% of abuse disclosure is accidental. Average age people disclose past abuse is 54 years old. Bishop interviews are NOT grooming. Grooming requires intent.
- Teenagers need a place for self-determination, to know they are accountable, so they can grow into their own faith and not relying on parents.
45:15 Further discussion about the importance of 3 adults, besides parents, in each youth life. Help them to understand and discuss “here is what you are going through, and how does that apply”. James Furrows research shows that for best outcome, one of the adults should be the “top person” in the organization.
47:20 Advice for a leader that wants to develop better relationships with youth: be aware in group, small group setting and listen to them, help them contextualize what is going on with their world around them.
50:17 Any caution for leaders? We have to do the gymnastics of the rules (not alone with youth, etc.), but that is not the same thing as being the kind of adult in a kid’s life they can open up too. You are protecting them, but also need to be available to them. The interest is, “what does the youth need?”, not curiosity of the adults needs. Follow the youth. Create a culture that abuse can be talked about, and be safe to discuss
56:20 Final encouragement: Be brave enough to ask youth the hard questions. Do not abandon those kids who are struggling in a world that is far more sexualized than in the past. Be willing to talk to them.