New Spring 2018 WISDOM CIRCLES


Safe Church wants to ensure the voices and perspectives of survivors and allies of faith help to shape the larger emerging social movement to end child sexual abuse, and we need to hear from you. We are calling on survivors and allies to participate in one or more of our Wisdom Circles as our honored guests.

Each Wisdom Circle is a safe space where a facilitator will ask 3 or 4 important questions to inform the work Samaritan Safe Church does to support survivors and prevent abuse.  Using a “talking stick” methodology, each person responds to the question as the stick is passed around the Circle.  It is a practice of deep listening, rather than cross-talk, that allows each participant opportunity to respond several times, going deeper to mine the wisdom of the heart as we sit in sacred space together.

Our Spring 2018 Wisdom Circles 

Survivor Circles will meet on Thursday, March 15th and Monday, May 5th.

Ally Circles will meet on Wednesday, April 11th and Wednesday, May 23rd.

We will meet in the conference room at Samaritan Counseling Center (1803 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, PA) from 6 to 8 p.m. A light supper will be provided.

There is no cost to participate, but an RSVP is required. Each Circle is limited to 8 participants.  To reserve your space, call Deb at 717-560-9969 ext. 273 or email

Click here  for a printable flyer.



Our first Circle of Hope was birthed in the fall of 2017 in response to the numerous requests we received from survivors who attended our Tamar Speaks Retreat or a Survivors Wisdom Circle.  This series of 6 gatherings for adult survivors of child sexual abuse will meet twice monthly beginning in March.  Participants will experience a safe community and common ground with other survivors as we look at the ways that our lives have been shaped not only by our stories of trauma, but by our own strength, struggle and resilience. By exploring God’s healing truth and hope through conversation and creative expression, we will consider the many ways that the the dark or dormant periods in our lives can give way to growth and new life. 

Previous Circle of Hope participants said: 

  • “It is so good to be with other survivors who understand where I’m coming from.”
  • “Circle of Hope taught me new and different ways of radical self-care.”
  • “I felt safe and comfortable to share in this group.”
  • “I felt heard and listened to in this group.”
  • “The facilitators were genuinely caring and loving.”

The Circle of Hope will be co-facilitated by trauma-trained therapist, Lisa Hanna Witmer, MSW, LSW and Deb Helt, Senior Safe Church Facilitator & Congregational Support Specialist. Meetings will be held at Samaritan Counseling Center (1803 Oregon Pike, Lancaster, PA) from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays: March 8 & 22, April 5 & 26, and May 3 & 17. Group size will be limited to 8 participants and the cost for the series is $125 for all 6 sessions.

Click HERE for a printable flyer. 

Click HERE for registration form.

For more information contact Deb at 717-560-9969  ext. 273 or email




Do YOU want to make a difference? Do you believe YOU have a contribution to make in keeping all children safe from sexual harm?  We agree – and are here to help YOU!  Safe Places Circles of Learning is a series of 5 workshops for anyone who believes that the prevention of child sexual abuse is possible and wants to learn more.

Facilitated by Deb Helt, Senior Safe Church Facilitator & Congregational Support Specialist, the workshops include:

Session 1:  Introduction to and Defining 6 Types of Abuse

Session 2:  Navigating the Mandated Reporting Maze  

Session 3:  The Grooming Process – What Every Adult Needs To Know

Session 4:  Accompaniment of Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Session 5:  What about Forgiveness?

The cost for the series (five 3 hour workshops) is $150. Some scholarship funds are available. 

Dates for the  2018 Circles of Learning have not been set. For additional information or to express your interest in participating in Circles of Learning, call Deb at 717-560-9969 ext. 273 or e-mail 


SafeChurch Focus

Building. . .

a faith-based movement to end Child Sexual Abuse

Moving. . .

beyond first generation “safe church policies and training” to shifting culture to inspire and equip adults to protect children from sexual harm in church and community

Connecting. . .

with others sharing a vision where people of faith take leadership to end the conditions that allow one in four girls and one in six boys to be sexually abused

Engaging. . .

survivors as sources of wisdom and leaders

Partnering. . .

with the Just Beginnings Collaborative to End Child Sexual Abuse