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Not to push you toward something you're uncomfortable with but I just used an angle grinder for the first time recently and my experience was good.

I started with a 36 grit flap disc because I too was nervous about using an angle grinder. The 36 grit flap disc worked pretty well for removing a lot of material but I could tell it wouldn't last very long so I decided to try out the kutzall shaping dish (original - course). I spent less than an hour on my project with this dish using very gentle pressure because I was afraid of kickback and going too deep too fast. In that time, I never had anything that made me nervous but I did produce roughly 5 gallons of sawdust.

I'm thoroughly impressed with how effective the angle grinder is with a flap disc and kutzall dish. As far as how safe it is? I can't say for sure, something can always go wrong with any powertool but I think being gentle with the pressure on the angle grinder should be reasonably safe.
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