Here at church, we are always in the midst of many children, youth, and vulnerable adults. In fact, much of our ministry centers on loving and teaching those populations. For example, our preschool and Sunday school just began summer break. Our and special needs ministry continues on, but takes a short break over the summer months.
Tonight is Parents’ Night Out and tomorrow is Summer Sunday School at 10am, Youth Pool Party from 2-4pm, and JAM Act 1 – Children and Teens Talent Show at 6:30pm. Also, ramping up in the next couple of weeks is our Vacation Bible School, Anchors Away Summer Camp and youth summer programs. At times we see hundreds of children a month.
One of the things I am proud to say about Jackson United Methodist Church is that our church is safe for everyone. JUMC is a place for people to grow, heal, and experience God. We recognize that foundational to connecting with God, loving, and serving is authenticity and openness that allows an individual to flourishes spiritually when safe spaces are provided.
JUMC has a Safe Sanctuaries policy, which is an overt expression in making our congregation a safe place where everyone may experience the abiding love of God and fellowship within the community of faith. If you would like to review the complete rationale and policy, you can click the link below.
JUMC’s basic procedures for ministry with children, youth and vulnerable adults is:
- The ‘Two-Adult” Rule: 2 adults should be present at all times. Avoid all one-adult – one-child situations, such as closed-door bathroom breaks. The concept of “floater” is acceptable only when two adults cannot be present.
- First Aid/CPR Trained personnel available at all times.
- Annual Orientation: to remind all volunteers and paid staff of appropriate behavior; accepted policies and procedures.
- The “Five-Years-Older” Rule: Adults should be at least 5 years older than the oldest youth.
- Un-shaded windows in all classroom doors.
- Open-door counseling.
- Advance notice to parents about program events and activities.
- Parent and family education about abuse and the components of the Safe Sanctuaries Policy.
- Appropriate equipment and supervision for the setting and activity. Some settings
or activities will require more supervision or expertise than others.
- Transportation and sleeping arrangements for overnight trips must be thoughtfully planned out and be appropriate to the guideline found in the 2008 edition of Safe Sanctuaries
- All Church computers show be password protected and should always be monitored when in use by children, youth and vulnerable adults. Church Computers should only be used for ministry related purposes and should contain appropriate blocks from specific internet sites.