Catherine has been able to tap into the marvel of social networking to align advocates and survivors together for projects that are having a global impact. Catherine is much sought after by ministries and organizations that see she is passionately aware of the needs of abuse survivors in faith-based environments. She has a passion to see faith communities rise to their God-given responsibility to acknowledge and care for the needs of those wounded.
Catherine helped start the Facebook group for Prairie Bible Institute abuse survivors.
You’d think, given her skills and her polite Canadian approach to PBI leadership, that asking to befriended by a FB group called Friends of PBI wouldn’t be a problem. Since Prairie Bible Institute went to national media in 2011, Catherine has been reaching out to PBI President Mark Maxell and his family members involved with the Alberta bible school. She is a bridge builder, and wants to help PBI alumni understand why PBI survivors aren’t giving up.
When I talked with Mark Maxwell, I mentioned that I felt it was important for me to be able to gain access to group members in order to clear up any misunderstandings, and allow members to ask me questions if they wish. He emailed me a couple of weeks ago to see if I had reconnected with Ruth, and if I had been given permission to join the group. The reasons for banning me make no sense whatsoever!
Friends of PBI, are not interested in befriending Catherine, or any PBI abuse survivors. While I wouldn’t bother trying to be part of a group which does not want anything to do with me, I admire Christians like Catherine who honour their calling as teacher and peace maker.
Since the end of 2011, many PBI alumni have had great difficulty acknowledging abuse occurred at their bible school, and many have been aggressive and passive aggressive in their opposition to PBI abuse survivors. You’d think someone as skilled and as experienced as Catherine would not be a threat, and her peace making skills would be welcomed as encouraging and positive. Nope.
…the administrators have decided that it’s not in the best interest of the group as a whole to have you join our conversation. We don’t mean to offend; however, please understand that we have observed a history over two years in which you and others have joined “general-purpose” FB groups and dominated them with discussions around abuse, be they PBI-related or otherwise. This has typically led to some unhelpful hostility on both sides and resulted in good people leaving the groups previously enjoyed by all. While we believe that the topic of abuse is a very important one and is deserving of FB group time, it’s not the purpose of this particular group. We would say the same to someone who was “taking over” the discussion about any other particular passion, be it homeless in Chicago or AIDS in Africa. We affirm your passion to bring healing to abused people but suggest that instead of bringing that to this group, that you continue to do so in groups that exist for that express purpose and for an audience that share that same passion.