Safe Church

In our Baptismal Covenant, we promise to respect the dignity of every human being. One way that we live out that value in ECMN is through the implementation of our Safe Church Policies. 

Our Safe Church Policies establish and maintain standards intended to ensure that our faith communities are safe places where all of God’s people are loved and encouraged to grow into the people God calls us to be. These policies provide specific recommendations, best practices, and guidelines that seek to protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults.

Safe Church Trainings

ECMN offers Safe Church trainings through the School for Formation. To see upcoming Safe Church trainings, please click here.

Safe Church Policies

Read this first: Overview of Policies

Policies for the Protection of Children and Youth (UPDATED 4/9/19)

Policies for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (UPDATED 4/9/19)

Policies for the Prevention of Sexual Harassment

Policies for the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation 

Policies For Addressing Concerns for Lay Ministers Regarding Abuse, Harassment, And Exploitation (UPDATED 6/2020)

Policies for Addressing Concerns for Ordained Ministers - Title IV Document & Title IV Resources 

Training Framework:

ECMN now has three (3) distinct tiers of training. Each tier can be completed in person with an ECMN-certified trainer or online. These training recommendations were put in place in order to better clarify who needs to be trained and how, based on their role, and how they can complete those trainings. You can also contact any of our certified ECMN Safe Church Trainers. These trainers have all been trained to use our new training model and resources. These resources (including the powerpoint and videos) can be found in our ECMN Safe Church Training Kit.

Tier 1. Universal Training

Summary Each faith community is required to offer basic community-wide training annually. This training should reach as many members as possible, and it should cover an introduction and overview of the six policy documents for ECMN, both Tiers II and III. In many cases, this training lasts an hour, as it should cover the basic tenets of each training. Each faith community is empowered to deliver this in whatever medium suits their context best. Some places have done adult forums with slides, others have crafted email communications with links, others have had their priests give special short video announcements, and still others have done all of the above. Trainers are available to help craft Tier I materials upon request. 

Policy: It provides a broad overview of all four policies with attention to how to create a safe, healthy, and transformational faith community.

Tier 2. Safe Church for God’s Children

Summary: Tier Two is a three-hour foundational training for anyone who has access to facilities and/or is in ministry with children, youth, or vulnerable adults.

Policy: It covers the first two of the four Safe Church Policies (Children and Youth & Vulnerable Adults).

Tier 3. Safe Church for God’s People

Summary: Tier Three is a three-hour training for lay staff and clergy, who are involved in managing ministries for youth and adults alike. It discusses the power dynamics present in pastoral relationships and how to prevent inappropriate behaviors. These inappropriate behaviors include abuse, harassment, or exploitation this is either physical, verbal, or sexual. 

Policy: It covers the two policy documents related to harassment and exploitation, as well as the two policies related to discipline in these matters for lay and ordained ministers. 

 

Background Checks

ECMN provides support in completing background checks for staff and volunteers.  To get more information on this process, please click here.

 

Requirements of Faith Communities

Step 1: Formally adopt Safe Church Policies at a Vestry, Bishop’s Committee, or Board of Directors meeting and record the text of the policies in the minutes. Review and reaffirm your adoption of these policies annually and record it in the meeting minutes.

Step 2: Ensure adequate documentation for previously safe church trained individuals (who have been trained in the last five years). Find a contemporaneous paper record or online database entry. If you can’t find such a record, that individual must redo their training either in person or online. The only instance in which past trainings may be entered online retroactively is when there is a signed paper copy documenting the past training by a trainer.

Step 3: Establish a practice for determining who needs renewal and has past the three-year training window. One way to do this is to go into the online safeguarding database, download a spreadsheet of the entire faith community organization, and sort by training date.

Step 4: Identify those in your faith community who need to now be safe church trained (Appendix C).

Step 5: Contact a certified ECMN safe church trainer to schedule or attend a live training. See Google Calendar of trainings and list of trainers. Refer anyone who can’t attend in person to the online options (Google Doc instructions).

Relevant Statutes

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=148A

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=626.557

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=626.556

More Information

Contact your Missioner for Children, Youth, Camp, and Young Adults, Sarah Barnett, for general Safe Church information.
Phone: 612-759-8493
Email: sarah.b@episcopalmn.org