The June 2011 Session of the Upper New York Annual Conference adopted the resolution creating a Safe Sanctuaries policy to reduce the risk of abuse of children, youth and vulnerable adults participating in the ministries of our churches, districts, agencies and ministry groups.
The Sexual Ethics Committee, is the conference level body responsible for policymaking, training, accountability, and crisis response, will be formed this fall. In the meantime, this page of information is offered to provide resources to local churches, districts and conference ministries.
Safe Sanctuaries Poster
2011 Safe Sanctuaries Resolution
Click here for the entire document.
Local Church Safe Sanctuaries Teams
The adopted Conference resolution directs “[e]ach church/charge, district, agency and ministry group shall have a Safe Sanctuaries committee or team in place no later than December 31, 2011.” This team shall be amenable to the local church’s governing board (Church Council/Administrative Board) and shall have the following responsibilities:
- Developing the local church’s Safe Sanctuaries policy in accord with the guidelines and standards outlined in the resolution adopted by the annual conference.
- Overseeing the implementation of this policy in the local church setting.
- Serving as the linking body between the local church, the district and the annual conference’s Sexual Ethics Committee regarding Safe Sanctuaries matters.
Click here for more information.
The Minimum Standards have been established by the Upper New York Annual Conference for all ministries. They are mandatory. They are not inspirational, but set minimum standards to protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation. Without exception, these standards apply to all local churches/charges, district and annual conference ministries, and those who serve within. Click here for more information.
Click here to learn more about background checks and for information on the Trusted Employees services, a corporate partner of Church Mutual.
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Sex Offender Registry:
Here one can search the Sex Offender Registry and also sign up for Email Alerts to be notified whenever a Level 2 or 3 sex offender moves into or out of your neighborhood.
Guidelines for Sex Offender Participation in Church activities (including worship):
Safe Sanctuaries: The Church Responds to Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of Older Adults, published in 2012. It is available from the Upper Room Bookstore:
Safe Sanctuaries Anniversary Edition (Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth – 2008 edition) by Joy Thornburg Melton. This resource outlines basic procedures for recruiting, screening and hiring workers; basic procedures for safe ministry for children and youth; safe sanctuaries for vulnerable adults and a section on internet safety. Also included are implementation strategies, model for training, sample forms and much more.
Safe Sanctuaries for Ministers (Best Practices and Ethical Decisions – 2009 edition) by Joy Thornburg Melton. This book explores three areas of special concern to clergy: Counseling and the potential improprieties within the counseling relationship, Finances and the potential improprieties related to church finance, and Sexuality and the potential for sexual misconduct. An excellent resource not just for pastors but also for Staff Parish Committees and those who work with pastors.
Safe Sanctuaries for Children and Youth DVD to use for training - 2004 edition (Joy Thornburg Melton).
The New York State Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-342-3720 Toll free phone number to call in a report of suspected child abuse.