We are a Safe Sanctuary Church.
Are our children safe? Are our volunteers safe?
Seem like strange questions to be asking in a church! Of course they are. This is God's house. But ...Many churches across the country have learned the hard way that bad things can happen in a church which can scar children and adults for life. There are churches where the unscrupulous go with the intention of harming a child or falsely accusing a volunteer of child abuse in order to bring suit against the church and its workers.
In 1996, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church mandated that all United Methodist churches have a plan to reduce the risk of child abuse. It is now required in the 2008 Book of Discipline.
On January 26, 2004, the Church Council adopted our Safe Sanctuary Policy and Procedures for Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse. In 2009, protection of vulnerable adults was added to our policy. Through screening, training, implementing policy and procedures and a reporting strategy, we seek to:
We screen and we train all paid and volunteer workers
We screen workers through reference and background checks. Each worker is required to complete an application and attend a training on policy and procedures, or take training offered online.
Safe Sanctuary Training Dates
Our purpose for this policy and accompanying procedures is to demonstrate our absolute and unwavering commitment to the physical safety and spiritual growth of all our children, youth and vulnerable adults.
Statement of Covenant
As a Christian community of faith, we pledge to conduct God's ministry in ways that assure the safety and spiritual growth of our children, youth and vulnerable adults as well as workers with them. We will:
What does this mean for us?
Background checks will be done on all workers, paid and volunteer, seeking to work with children and youth along with the application and interview process. After all paperwork is compiled and reviewed, "cleared" volunteers become certified to work with our children and youth. All information is kept confidential. Training on our policy and procedures completes the certification.
A hassle? Maybe, but if it protects our children and us, it's worth it!
Leisure Ministries Department will conduct Safe Sanctuary training during seasonal coaches' training.