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"A Safe Church"

Grace Episcopal Church is committed to creating a worship and work community that is a safe haven for all of God’s people. As a part of that commitment, Grace clergy complete Safe Church Training. Other staff, as well as wardens and vestry members, are required to complete the online portion of the training through the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. The statements below frame the materials, information and discussion that make up the training.

Sensitivity

We are SENSITIVE to the personal physical boundaries of others. We greet each other in many ways at the “Peace.” We offer a handshake, a hug, a pat on the back, or a nod; we pay attention to what is comfortable for each person in our pews.

Awareness

We are AWARE of the actions and behaviors of others. We are conscious of appropriate interaction between adults and children. We are vigilant for signs that children, elders, and the physically and mentally challenged are being mistreated both inside and outside the church.

Fairness

We practice FAIRNESS when a person does not live up to our Safe Church values. In a case of misconduct, we contact the appropriate entities, including the Bishop’s office, the police, or the Dept. of Children and Families. We take mandated reporting seriously. All cases will be treated within the bounds of appropriate confidentiality.

Education

We EDUCATE ourselves about the issues that make the church a safer place. All volunteers who work with children and youth undergo the online “Safeguarding God’s Children.” We believe that the dialogue about safe church practices is ongoing and important.

Community

We are a COMMUNITY that functions better when we work together. When working with minors, two adults are present at all times (or employ a roving adult) We embrace an open door policy and encourage parents to stop in at unscheduled times. We promote visibility in all situations, including private consultations.

Health

We celebrate that our church is a place of HEALTH and wholeness. Sexual misconduct, abuse, harassment, and exploitation of any kind are not tolerated. Our leadership maintains proper pastoral boundaries and personal self-care disciplines. Our physical plant promotes safety with clear signage, first aid kits, fire protocols, and adequate lighting.

Universality

We make these values UNIVERSAL by extending them to our lives outside the church. We recognize and celebrate that these values help us live out our Baptismal Covenant. We treat others with honesty, empathy, and respect. We treat social media interactions with minors as if it were happening at fellowship hour.

Respect

We RESPECT the dignity of everyone and seek and serve Christ in all persons. We engage only in appropriate, positive, constructive speech. Discrimination based on gender, race, religion, creed, color, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental challenge, medical condition, marital status, age, or sexual orientation is not tolerated.

Consistency

We are CONSISTENT in our volunteer recruitment practices. People new to the church wait six months before volunteering with ministries that involve direct contact with children. All volunteers agree to take the “Safeguarding God’s Children” online training. All volunteers acknowledge and agree to uphold these practices to the best of their ability.

Hospitality

We extend HOSPITALITY toward all who come to the church. Our church is a place for healing and wholeness where all are welcome. With God’s help, we commit to live by these values, promoting a community where all people can worship God in a loving, caring, and nurturing environment.

(This Statement is affirmed by Grace Church in 2013. We are thankful to St. Stephen’s, Cohasset for sharing their Safe Church work with us.)


















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