The Safe Sanctuary Policy at Hope Church
The congregation of Hope United Methodist Church is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all children, youth, vulnerable adults and volunteers who participate in ministries and activities sponsored by the church. The Hope Church Safe Sanctuary policy reflects our congregation's commitment to preserving this church as a holy place of safety and protection for all who would enter, and as a place in which all people can experience the love of God through relationship with others. All staff and volunteers are required to attend the UMC's Safe Sanctuary training, and staff and regular volunteers are required to complete and submit a Criminal Record Background Check.
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The following is a publication of the United Methodist Church:
What is Safe Sanctuary Policy?
Safe Sanctuaries is more than guidelines, policies and procedures implemented to create an environment in which children, youth, vulnerable persons and the adults who work with them have boundaries of safe space. Safe Sanctuaries is an overt expression of a congregation in making a congregation a safe place where children, youth and vulnerable persons may experience the abiding love of God and fellowship within the community of faith.
In 1996 The General Conference of The United Methodist Church adopted a resolution aimed at reducing the risk of child sexual abuse in the church.
It is the policy of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference that every local church shall:
1. Develop and implement an ongoing education plan for the congregation and its leaders on the reality of child abuse, risk factors leading to child abuse and strategies for prevention.
2. Adopt screening procedures for all workers with children and youth that are in accordance with the current policy of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Camping Board policy in any given year.
3. Develop and implement safety procedures for church activities that will work to limit risks to children and youth.
4. Provide resources for persons who suspect child abuse or who have suffered abuse.