Seminar Aims to Help Stop Sexual Misconduct among Ranks of Clergy

Article excerpt

Clergy members of different faiths are uniting to try to prevent sexual misconduct within their ranks.

The Clergy Association of Villa Park and Lombard is sponsoring a May 9 interdenominational seminar designed to teach clergy members how to recognize when their behavior is inappropriate.

"We want to help all of us in the profession recognize in our own lives the danger signals and warning signs," Stephen Williams, pastor at First United Methodist Church in Lombard, said.

Clergy leaders in Villa Park and Lombard decided to address the issue after seeing the fallout when a Villa Park priest and a Lombard minister were charged with sexual misconduct involving children.

"The community is really suffering from the betrayal," Williams said.

The four-hour seminar will feature four speakers, a question and answer session and lunch.

The Rev. Barry Weber, of the Church of the Brethren, will speak about boundaries in personal relationships as well as the effects of stress and clues that a relationship is crossing the lines of proper conduct.

The Rev. Bruce Pangborn, pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church, will talk about the dynamics of sexuality in relationships between clergy members and their parishioners. …