Tuesday, January 18, 2022
An Ecumenical and Inclusive Fellowship of the United Methodist Church



Reducing the Risk of Abuse in Children & Youth Ministries

Safe Sanctuaries Covenant
 Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes (a) child….welcomes me” (Matthew 18:5). Children are our present and our future, our hope, our inspiration. They are full participants in the life of the church and in the kingdom of God.
Jesus also said, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones…it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).

Our Christian faith calls for us to offer both hospitality and protection to children. The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church states that: “children must be protected from economic, physical, emotional and sexual exploitation and ABUSE.” 
Community Church has adopted the Safe Sanctuaries Policy. Safe Sanctuarires is a movement in the United Methodist Church to ensure that all children, youth, vulnerable adults and the adults who care for them and work with them are safe. Click HERE to learn more about Safe Sanctuaries from the Peninsula-Delaware Conference of the United methodist Church.


 Participation Covenant Statement

The Congregation of Community Church at Ocean Pines is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all children, youth, and volunteers who participate in ministries and activities sponsored by the church. The following policy statements reflect 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 relationships with others.
1. No adult who has been convicted of child abuse (either sexual abuse, physical abuse, or emotional abuse) should volunteer to work with children or youth in any church-sponsored activity.
2. Adult survivors of child abuse need the love and support of our congregation. Any adult survivor who desires to volunteer in some capacity to work with children or youth is encouraged to discuss his/her willingness with one of our church’s ministers before accepting assignment.
3. All adult volunteers involved with children or youth of our church must have been members (or regularly attending) for at least six months before beginning a volunteer assignment.
4. The Two Adults Rule means that no fewer that two adults (unrelated by blood or marriage) will be present at all times during any church sponsored program or event.
5. Adult volunteers with children and youth shall observe the Two Adults Rule at all times so that no adult is ever alone with children or youth.
6. All adult workers shall be over the age of 18 and observe the Five Years Older Rule.
7. The Five Years Older Rule means that youth workers will be at least five years older than the children/youth served in the ministries.
8. Adult volunteers with church and youth shall attend regular training and educational events provided by the church to keep volunteers informed of church policies and state laws regarding child abuse.
9. Adult volunteers shall immediately report to their supervisor any behavior that seems abusive or inappropriate.
10. An application (click to download)with three references, a Participation Covenant (click to download), and a background screening is required for all volunteers working with children and youth.  Safe Sanctuary Volunteer Form

Safe Sanctuaries Training - "Volunteer Orientation"