Safe Sanctuaries Policy

At  Orchard  Ridge  United  Church  of  Christ,  we  believe  that  our  church  should  be  a  safe   sanctuary  for  all  those  who  come  in  good  faith.  Most  importantly,  it  should  be  a  safe  sanctuary   for  the  children  and  youth  who  are  entrusted  to  us.

The  physical  or  sexual  abuse  of  a  child  is  a  tragedy  no  matter  where  it  occurs;  it  is especially  so   when  it  takes  place  in  a  house  of  God.  Abuse  in  a  church  is  the  ultimate violation  of  a  sacred   trust.  We  also  acknowledge  that  the  abuse  of  children  is  a  reality,  and that  no  church  is  immune   from  that  reality.

We  want  our  congregation  to  be  a  haven,  free  of  sexual  misconduct  or  harassment.  To  help   reach  these  goals,  we  have  adopted  the  following  policies,  procedures,  and  educational   programs  to  reduce  the  possibility  of  child  sexual  or  physical  abuse,  or  any  type  of  sexual   misconduct  or  harassment  from  occurring  in  our  congregation.  The  educational  aspect  will   make  us  aware  of  potential  problems,  and  the  implementation  of  prudent  policies  should  help safeguard  our  children,  youth,  and  members.  While  not  all  policies  can  anticipate  and  prevent all  misfortune,  they  can  state  a  purpose  and  provide  guidance  to  achieve  the  purpose.  These policies  express  our  keen  interest  in  protecting  our  children  and  youth,  while  maintaining  the trusting  atmosphere  of  our  congregation  for  the  entire  congregation,  adults  and  children  alike.

We  therefore  enact  this  policy  to  establish  and  enforce  rules  and  procedures  to  eliminate,  as much  as possible,  the  risk  of  abuse  in  our  children  and  youth  programs  and  activities.

Safe Sanctuaries Policy