About Safe Sanctuaries
Reducing the Risk of Sexual Abuse: Safe Sanctuaries® is one of the “social structures that are consistent with the gospel” (Book of Discipline, ¶122) allowing our sanctuaries, classrooms, mission encounters, camps and retreats, and all spaces where we gather to worship and serve God to be places of trust. The United Methodist Church is strongly committed to all persons, and especially to children, youth and vulnerable adults.
Not putting appropriate policies, procedures, and guidelines in place allows for the risk of abuse to increase. Congregations who develop and live into Safe Sanctuaries® find it a deterrent to predators who are looking for easy access to the vulnerable. Each congregation needs to honor children, youth, and vulnerable adults enough to protect them from bodily harm, emotional damage, and spiritual destruction.
The United Methodist Church recognizes the importance of the training to all persons working with the most vulnerable and seeks to bring awareness to the policies and guidelines implemented. These policies stress the importance of the Biblical mandate from Matthew 19:14, “Allow the children to come to me, don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.” (Common English Bible)
Through the training modules, webinar, book, and other provided resources, congregations will better know how to recruit, screen, and hire persons for working with the most vulnerable within the church. To implement the Safe Sanctuaries® training program into your local church, follow the links below.
- How to Begin Developing and Updating a Safe Sanctuaries® Policy
- Sample Documents for Developing and Updating Safe Sanctuaries Policies and Guidelines
- To view additional Safe Sanctuaries® resources from United Methodist Insurance, click here.
- For Church Mutual insurance resources, click here.
- For Safe Sanctuary resources from the General Board of Discipleship, click here.
- For a process for developing your policy, we recommend the book Safe Sanctuaries – available from Cokesbury.