The New England Conference provides a variety of resources, training and tools for clergy and lay leadership in the local church on education, prevention, and policies regarding sexual misconduct and safe sanctuaries.
We all strive to maintain our congregations as safe environments, and when any part of the community is injured, physically, emotionally, spiritually, or relationally the well-being of the whole community is violated and all suffer. We offer these policies and resources to help congregations establish and maintain safety in the church, to define appropriate boundaries, to support those involved when boundaries are crossed, and to assist in the processes of justice and healing when misconduct occurs.
If you feel your boundaries have been crossed, you can contact your district superintendent or the Response Team coordinator for help. They will offer you guidance, support, tell you about the Conference's policies and procedures, and will act on your report expediently.
If a minor has been sexually abused by someone in a ministerial role, in a leadership role, or simply by someone in the church, make an immediate report to a law enforcement agency in your community. If the abuser is not the pastor, you may go to the pastor, district superintendent, or Response Team coordinator for help, support, and guidance.
If a misconduct situation has happened in a church, the congregation needs to be informed. Under the leadership of a member of the Response/Intervention Team, the following Congregational Disclosure Process is typically followed, with modifications that might be needed for a particular situation.
Click here for a Sample Disclosure Letter to the Congregation
Response and Intervention Team members and contact information
New England Conference Policies and Procedures
First Contact Brochures
Safe Sanctuaries Information
View the Conference Safe Sanctuaries page, with a brief overview, as well as resources on anti-bullying and cyber-safety.
Comprehensive resources are currently available on the Discipleship Ministries’ Safe Sanctuaries site, including sample policies, evaluation forms, DVD trainings and guidelines, “healthy congregations” studies and study materials, staff contacts and other resources.
GCSRW's Sexual Ethics site - www.umsexualethics.org
Child Protective Services sites by state: