Congregation stories and resources for YOU!

E-Quipped for Prevention

January 2017
Minneapolis churches explore the faith
community's response to sex trafficking
Written by Ginny Rudloff, Minneapolis Prevention Coordinator
Concerned about the high level of trafficking in their neighborhood in Minneapolis, area ELCA congregations came together to discuss their specific concerns. They also explored how they could effectively address the issue in a way that expresses the loving care for victims of sexual violence and works to reduce the demand for sex trafficking.
The first step will be to hold a community forum called "Shining a Light in the Darkness" on February 4. Staff members from three agencies doing outreach to victims, along with a police officer who investigates juvenile trafficking, will describe their collaboration.
The panelists will also discuss ways in which the faith community can support that work. Participants will then gather in small groups to explore how churches can take both short and long term action to help victims and end the demand.
This has been a great collaborative effort and the congregations are taking it even farther to invite other neighborhood faith groups to join them.
Good work Bethel, Calvary, Holy Trinity, Mount Olive, Our Saviour's, and St. Paul's Lutheran Churches in Minneapolis!
Prevention Champion: Amy Froiland-Parada
Written by Ginny Rudloff, Minneapolis Prevention Coordinator, from an interview
Amy Froiland-Parada grew up in a diverse family devoted to service. Her grandmother was the daughter of missionaries in Tanzania, which went on to influence much of her family's values. Amy was taught that family extends to the world and that she has a responsibility to take care of her brothers and sisters.
Newly arrived in Minnesota as a clinical social worker with a specialization in trauma work, Amy was looking for a volunteer opportunity. As she learned more about Breaking Free, an organization of survivors helping survivors, she knew she wanted to work with them. She was willing to do any kind of volunteer work, but when she offered free therapy, it was gladly received.
As Amy listened to victims of sex trafficking, she knew that she could be a bridge from survivors to the community. She offered to lead a faith forum at her own church, Holy Trinity in Minneapolis.
Around the same time, Amy's mother told Cherish All Children about her work and passed on Amy's phone number. Cherish All Children had just become involved with a group of churches nearby who were exploring ways to respond to sex trafficking in the neighborhood and Amy was more than eager to join them.
Aside from her clinical work, Amy is a newcomer to prevention of child sexual exploitation, but she has jumped in feet first. She believes we all need to recognize the destructiveness of rape culture, now is the time to act, and anybody can get involved.
Her advice is to listen to survivors, try to understand their story, and that knowledge will guide your actions. This energy and commitment is what makes her a prevention champion!
Youth retreat with learning about trafficking
Written by Amy Hartman, National Director, from an interview with David Wolfe
For the past several years, a group of six congregations called CCSD (Christ-Centered, Service-Driven) in the Bucyrus, OH area gathers their youth together for a lock-in. In addition to worship, singing, games, and eating, each lock-in focuses on an issue of importance to the young people.
This year, for the first time, the lock-in focused on trafficking.
David Wolfe, Youth and Family Ministry Coordinator at Good Hope Lutheran Church, helped plan the session about trafficking. David has attended the Cherish All Children National Gathering in both 2014 and 2016, so he was familiar with the issue and how it intersected with the lives of youth in that area.
He showed the documentary Chosen (21.5 minutes), which was created by Shared Hope International. The youth at the lock-in were ages 6 th - 12 th grade, and he felt that Chosen was a good choice for those ages of youth. It started with a story to which the kids could relate.
The youth stayed thoughtful and focused during the whole time the topic was discussed (1.5 hours). They watched the video and discussed it as a large group. They wondered where it could happen in their own community. Pastors were there in case any of the youth needed extra support. The adult leaders were surprised about how prevalent trafficking is in Ohio.
David says, "I'm glad we showed this video. We need to keep banging the drum and shining the light on this." He would like to see the congregations involved in the lock-in continue to do more. David is willing to take Chosen to other congregations that are interested in using the material.
The group gathered also collected an offering for Cherish All Children, to help support our work of prevention.
One piece of advice from David: Make sure you order the video and accompanying discussion booklet well ahead of time!
Videos/resources to learn about trafficking
Written by Amy Hartman, National Director
What follows is a list of videos and accompanying resources you could use in your congregation to help raise awareness of sex trafficking and begin the journey of preventing trafficking from happening. The descriptions provided are from the websites for the videos.
"Faces of Human Trafficking" Video Series
The series is intended to be used for outreach and education efforts of service providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, and others in the community. The series includes information about sex and labor trafficking, multidisciplinary approaches to serving victims of human trafficking, effective victim services, victims' legal needs, and voices of survivors.
Not a #Number Curriculum
Not a #Number is an interactive, five-module prevention curriculum designed to teach youth how to protect themselves from human trafficking and exploitation through information, critical thinking, and skill development. Not a #Number uses a holistic approach focusing on respect, empathy, individual strengths, and the relationship between personal and societal pressures that create or increase vulnerabilities.
Chosen video and resource pack
As traffickers target younger and younger victims, American youth are engaged in a battle they never prepared for. Be equipped with Shared Hope International's best-selling youth sex trafficking prevention film and resource pack!
Each package includes the true story of teens who faced real-life encounters with trafficking and practical resources to spread awareness and take action.
Very Young Girls
Very Young Girls is an exposé of the commercial sexual exploitation of girls in New York City as they are sold on the streets by pimps and treated as adult criminals by police. The film follows barely adolescent girls in real time, using vérité and intimate interviews with them, documenting their struggles and triumphs as they seek to exit the commercial sex industry. The film also uses startling footage shot by pimps themselves, giving a rare glimpse into how the cycle of exploitation begins for many women. Note: there is explicit language in this video.
Human Trafficking: Getting Started
This series is intended for Lutheran high school-aged young people and is designed to be led by a Lutheran high school-aged young person or an adult, but can easily be adapted for other audiences. It covers the broader topic of human trafficking, but includes sex trafficking.
Human Trafficking: What does the church have to say?
This is a resource to address the problem of human trafficking and raise awareness about healthy versus unhealthy and abusive relationships. It is a guide for congregations to use with youth and adults.
Faith in Action Kit
Designed to equip church leaders with the most comprehensive array of tools to raise awareness in their community, the Faith in Action Kit prepares the user to educate men, women, youth and faith leaders with audience-appropriate resources. The tools can be used in sermons or Sunday School, on retreats, with VBS and youth camp.
Additional resources and information can be found at:
Looking for a service project for your youth group?
Help your youth both learn about trafficking and serve your community by hanging posters about trafficking in various businesses, organizations, community centers, etc in your neighborhood, town, or city.
For posters in 17 different languages that could be used in any part of the country, go to:
If you live in Wisconsin, go to:
Prevention Champion: Kathy Kruger
Written by Ginny Rudloff, Minneapolis Prevention Coordinator, from an interview
"More than twenty-five years ago, the murder of a sex-trafficked woman in the vicinity of the church was a wake-up call for my congregation," says Kathy Kruger, a member of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
Kathy was already working with the founder of WHISPER (Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged in Revolt) who was a friend, along with a neighbor who had been trafficked. Together with members of her congregation, they worked to educate themselves and the community, and they developed an action plan to help women who were trafficked.
Their group managed to get on the agenda of the District Judges' monthly meeting; they had a legislative agenda that included Minnesota's sex offender law; held a rally at Central Lutheran Church; and they organized their neighborhood to shut down the saunas and massage parlors that lined the main thoroughfare in their community.
A lot has happened in Minnesota since those early days of organizing, but Kathy and other members of the Neighborhood Ministry team at Mt. Olive remain committed to preventing sex trafficking. Kathy says, "My love for my goddaughter, the children whom I served as a nanny, my Girl Scout troop, and the preschoolers I taught are the motivators that keep me working against the shameful and ugly facts of child sex trafficking."
Kathy offers three pieces of advice to congregations carrying out Cherish All Children's ministry:
1) Get to know your community. For the last fifteen years, Mt. Olive has served a community meal to connect with their neighbors and learn about issues of concern to them.
2) Educate yourself and your congregation. Knowledge will lead to action.
3) Make personal connections. This is hard work and you can't do it alone. She is encouraged by the growing concern in Minnesota and the nation and believes that we must remember that sex trafficking "is about children." That is what should motivate us.
Thank you, Kathy for your commitment to preventing child sexual exploitation and for sharing your hard-earned experience with us.
University Lutheran Church of Hope, Grace University
Lutheran Church, Lutheran Campus Ministry
sponsor community discussion of "toxic masculinity"
Written by Ginny Rudloff, Minneapolis Prevention Coordinator
After screening the documentary film The Mask You Live In, three Minneapolis Area Synod ministries, ULCH, Grace and LCM are carrying the conversation about raising healthy youth a step farther by holding a community discussion on toxic messaging and behavior.
Join them on February 21 at 7:00 p.m. at University Lutheran Church of Hope more deeply consider the questions raised by The Mask You Live In: How do we counter the harmful messages delivered in childhood and adolescence? What kinds of hopeful things are we seeing?
Given the concerns about toxic masculinity, sexual assault, and other issues of gender violence on university campuses, this is a timely reminder that we need to keep the conversation alive.
It promises to be a valuable discussion about our role in counteracting cultural barriers to healthy adult relationships.
One congregation's observance of
National Human Trafficking Awareness Month
Written by Ginny Rudloff, Minneapolis Prevention Coordinator
At Lake Nokomis Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis, the Cherish All Children Team decided that they didn't want to provide another "information about sex trafficking in our community" forum this year. They wanted an open discussion about what the congregation and members can do to raise healthy children as a path to ending the demand for sex trafficking.
The Team sent out letters signed by the pastor and other male members of the congregation. The letter outlined the research and opinion that ending the demand is the only surefire way to stop trafficking of children. Members were encouraged to attend the meeting and share their ideas and concerns.
After a short presentation about sex trafficking and work done in other areas to end the demand, the group watched an excerpt from the documentary, The Mask You Live In. The presentation and the video prompted a thoughtful conversation about the challenges of parenting youth given the cultural influences of sexual violence, pornography, objectification of women, and a definition of masculinity that prevents boys from expressing their emotions and having authentic relationships with each other.
The group expressed an interest in seeing the movie in its entirety to start a deeper conversation about raising healthy youth.
As a result of the discussion, two men indicated an interest in helping with Lake Nokomis Lutheran's Cherish All Children ministry and another man expressed interest in the "End the Demand" curriculum - the first time in five years that men have expressed an interest in leadership!
What can be done to "end the demand?"
Written by Ginny Rudloff, Minneapolis Prevention Coordinator
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Lau Tzu
The idea of ending the demand can seem much like that journey of a thousand miles, but like most great things, it has very humble beginnings - a single step.
Here are just few ideas that you and your congregation can do to begin the critical work of ending the demand:
  • Learn more about sex trafficking
  • Advocate for legislation that protects victims of sex trafficking and penalizes buyers and sellers. Check with local or statewide anti-trafficking task forces or coalitions to learn about current legislative efforts.
  • Stay in hotels when travelling that do not offer in-room, pay-per-view pornography. Ask when you make your reservation. If you must stay at a hotel that provides this service, ask them to disconnect the service to your room (they can). Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott are several of the hotels that have discontinued this service.
  • Engage the men in your life in conversations about ending the demand. What are their solutions?
  • Show and discuss the documentary, The Mask You Live In.
  • Sponsor a community forum on healthy masculinity. Involve men in the planning and implementation.
  • Financially support local organizations that are working on this issue.
  • Join a state coalition to address sexual violence. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has a directory of state anti-sexual assault coalitions:
  • Follow the Cherish All Children Prevention model: Pray, Educate, Connect, and Act:
Prevention Champion: Pastor Ann Larson
Written by Amy Hartman, National Director, from an interview
Pastor Ann Larson is a retired pastor and has served as a guest writer for the Wednesday Prayer since September 2013. Working with Cherish All Children affirms her history, experience, and training-pulls all her concerns together. Her writing also allows her to do some pastoral work. She forwards her own Wednesday Prayers to secular groups, to let them know that Cherish All Children exists. She invites them to share it with their own pastors.
Pastor Ann has worked to address child sexual abuse, domestic and sexual violence ever since she was in seminary in the 1970's, when women there worked to raise consciousness about the health and safety of women.
As a campus pastor (and one of few women ministers in Bloomington, IN in the 1980's), she became a volunteer and board member for the local women's shelter.  Through a series of interim pastorates, she continued this involvement at local and state levels. 
Since moving to Vermont, especially after retirement from her last parish, she has been on her county's Task Force on domestic and sexual violence and served on the Governor's Council. She has done faith-based outreach to churches about domestic abuse as well as share her faith resources with secular groups. She developed workshops for clergy to meet people working on these issues, so they could hear how cases were handled. She points out, "The work of these agencies is as much a ministry as what I do."
To Pastor Ann, the most important part of the work of Cherish All Children is continuing to plug away at the issues. We can't think, "Been there, done that." Seeing the Wednesday Prayer shows her and others that this work continues to be important.
She sees that a particular challenge for congregations is that they have to think about the humanity of both victims and perpetrators. Congregations have to honor the experience of victims. They also have to hold people accountable without chasing people away.
As Cherish All Children moves into its next decade, Pastor Ann sees that it will be important to keep on keeping on, to work ourselves out of business-although that is not likely to happen any time soon. She would like to see our work highlighted in Living Lutheran more often.
Thank you, Pastor Ann, for your long-term commitment to this work and your thoughtful writing at this time in history!
Cherish All Children featured in Jan/Feb issue of Gather
Written by Amy Hartman, National Director
The Women of the ELCA publishes a magazine called Gather which features timely and engaging articles of interest to women who are members of the ELCA.
The Jan/Feb 2017 issue of Gather includes an article about how ELCA members are addressing human trafficking, and Cherish All Children is included in that article. To read an excerpt from this article, go to: A subscription is needed to read the entire article.
Also, at the Tenth Triennial Gathering of the Women of the ELCA this summer, Cherish All Children will be doing four workshops on the topic of engaging congregations in preventing child trafficking. Here is the workshop description:

You. God's children. End trafficking.

Child sex trafficking is a horrible injustice, and Women of the ELCA has made a strong commitment to ending it. Come learn ideas and best practices, gleaned from congregations using Cherish All Children's mission model: Pray, Educate, Connect, and Act. You will leave with resources to help you get started or deepen what you are already doing to end human trafficking.
The Gathering will be held July 13-16, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, which is just across the street from Central Lutheran Church, where the Cherish All Children office is located.
Cherish All Children will also be receiving a portion of the offering received at the closing worship on Sunday morning.
Many thanks to the Women of the ELCA for their commitment to the well-being of girls, ending the injustice of child trafficking, and supporting the work of Cherish All Children financially.
For more information about the Triennial, go to:
Lutheran Parish of the Tonawandas, NY
(Good Shepherd and St. Mark Lutheran Churches)
Written by Kathy Lang
The Backpack Project . We filled sixty backpacks the first week of August, 2016. This resulted after volunteers filled the St. Mark office with school supplies, sorted them, and organized them into elementary, middle, and high school categories.
After gathering over $1,000.00 worth of items, we made bookmarks and wrote notes. We came together the week of Summer Bible Fellowship and packed the backpacks.   They were delivered to the Ken-Ton Closet that Friday.
It was a great experience and many students were helped. Little did Lynn Whitmorth know that she would see some of our donated backpacks delivered to Kenmore East High School where she is a teacher. As a member of the Parish, she chaired this project. Now she had the joy of seeing our work firsthand!  
Many of the students who have received our backpacks are just learning English after coming here from war-torn countries. Our donations are greatly appreciated.
Thank you for the many donations that made this possible!
And the winners are:
Written by Amy Hartman, National Director
Every year in November, Cherish All Children does a survey of congregations to find out what they have been working on the past year related to preventing child sexual exploitation. We send a survey link to people on our various mailing lists, and then eagerly await the responses.
In 2016 congregations that completed the survey were entered into a drawing for a set of the videos Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In, both created by The Representation Project.
I am pleased to announce that Valley of Peace Lutheran Church in Golden Valley, MN and Good Hope Lutheran Church in Bucyrus, OH were the winners of the videos! Congratulations!
We look forward to hearing how these congregations make use of these videos!
Prevention Champion: Diane Johnson
Written by Sue Hembroff, Board Member, from an interview
Diane Johnson became involved with Cherish All Children when she was on the staff at Augustana Lutheran Church in Minneapolis where Cherish All Children originally had its office.
Diane lives in one of the western suburbs of Minneapolis and sees herself as being "sheltered." She got to know Amy Hartman, National Director of Cherish All Children, and became aware of the challenges young people face today. She states she was troubled by the many ways children can be harmed and taken advantage of in today's world. Diane believes it is important to hold children up, keep them safe, and let them know they are cared about.
At Augustana, Diane helped connect children with older adults in the congregation.
Diane contributes financially to Cherish All Children because she believes in the work this ministry is doing and knows adequate funding is important to continue this work. Thank you Diane for your support!
Your financial contributions make prevention possible!
Written by Amy Hartman, National Director
As a nonprofit ministry, Cherish All Children relies upon the generosity of people like you who care about our mission and the work we do. Most of our income is from individuals and congregations.
If you already give financial support to Cherish All Children, thank you! I invite you to consider increasing your gift or giving monthly.
If you have yet to make a financial contribution to Cherish All Children, now is the time to start! You can make an online donation or send a check to the address below.
Thank you for your support! May God bless the work we do together on behalf of children!
Cherish All Children
Cherish All Children is an ELCA ministry that equips  
congregations to prevent child sexual exploitation.
We believe that "Love born of faith in Jesus Christ calls us all to attend to, discuss, resist, and reject the system of sexual exploitation".
You are invited to give financially to support this ministry. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Are you a member of Thrivent Financial? You may be able to designate Cherish All Children to receive your Choice Dollars.
Cherish All Children
PO Box 583772
Minneapolis, MN 55458

 Cherish All Children | 612.280.1259 |