The Safe Spaces Ministry serves to ensure that policies and procedures necessary for keeping ministry safe in order for sacred space to be created are developed, reviewed, appropriately presented, and training provided for members of the Tennessee Western-Kentucky Annual Conference. The work of the committee is funded through apportionment giving as allocated through the conference budget on an annual basis.
Safe Spaces Ministry is committed to creating Safe Spaces that become Sacred Spaces with the ministries of the Tennessee Conference. This ministry includes the following teams:
Healthy Boundaries/Sexual Ethics
Conference Response Team
Healthy Boundaries/Sexual Ethics Team – guides the portion of the Safe Spaces Ministry tasked with reviewing policies and implementing training opportunities in the best practices to create and maintain healthy boundaries for ministry.
Safe Sanctuaries Team – guides the portion of the Safe Spaces Ministry tasked with reviewing policies and implementing training opportunities in the best practices to protect children, youth, and vulnerable adults participating in ministry as well as those who serve in ministry in these populations.
Conference Response Team – members are trained advocates who provide care and pastoral support for both those experiencing situations requiring a trained advocate as well as those accused of perpetrating situations that would require a trained advocate. The role of the Conference Response Team is one of care-giving, not investigation. Conference Response Team Coordinator – Rev. Lanita Monroe, Shelbyville First UMC, (931) 684-2535.
The Nashville Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church has partnered with Safe Gatherings a national leader in background checks and abuse prevention training.
The Tennessee Conference is committed to ensuring that we provide safe places of worship and fellowship to everyone we serve. As part of that commitment, we are providing information on Safe Gatherings as a resource for you in this important area.
Safe Gatherings is an online abuse prevention program that screens and educates staff and volunteers to help prevent abuse of children, youth, and vulnerable adults in group settings. When employees and volunteers are trained to identify potential abusers, recognize the signs of abuse, and know how to handle reporting, they are better equipped to prevent abuse.
Upon successful completion of the Safe Gatherings application, background and reference checks, and online training program, each applicant will receive documentation of approval valid for three years and will have continued access to the online training program for one year.
The current price per applicant for the individual church program available through the Safe Gatherings website is $37. This includes processing of two electronic references, a national and current county of residence 7-year background check, national and state of residence Sex Offender Registry check, and the 1.5-hour online abuse prevention and boundary awareness training. There is also an option to complete a driving record if the individual will be driving as part of their ministry. The cost for the driving record will vary depending upon the state the license was issued.
Contact the Safe Gatherings team at contact@SafeGatherings.com or 888-241-8258 to provide the contact information for your church or group. As soon as the church or group is set up within Safe Gatherings, your applicants will be able to follow the links below to begin their Safe Gatherings approval.
Click here to start the Safe Gatherings process – https://safegatherings.com/app/get-started
Click here to login to your Safe Gatherings application after you have completed your registration– https://safegatherings.com/app/login
When applicants follow the link to get started, they will need to select:
-Language Preference (English or Spanish),
-Type of Organization (Church or Faith-Based Organization),
-Denomination (Methodist), and
-State where their church is located.
In the next field, they will start typing any part of your organization name, ex: Good Shepherd”, and a list will appear in a dropdown menu where they will select the organization name where they are seeking approval to serve. Individuals can login to their account at any time to check the status of their application.
Contact the Safe Gatherings team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.241.8258 for additional information or with questions about the program.
The TNUMC Safe Spaces Ministry also has a partnership with TRAK-1 (aka-PeopleFacts). They offer background checks without the added costs of training and reference checks. GO TO TRAK-1
Link to: Request a Safe Spaces Training
MAKING A REPORT
All allegations of sexual misconduct with minors or vulnerable adults occurring in the State of Tennessee will be reported to the appropriate governmental agencies, as required by mandatory reporting laws of the State of Tennessee.
To report a concern of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or sexual violence by a church professional contact the District Superintendent which your church exists. To see a listing of District Superintendents, click here. If you cannot reach your District Superintendent, please contact the Conference Response Team Coordinator listed above.
ARMED INTRUDER – PREPARING FOR THE WORST
Recently, our country has been plagued by catastrophic acts of violence. We have seen that violence can occur at anytime and anywhere. The good news is there are steps you can take before, during, and after an attack to minimize the damage done and maybe even save lives.
- Before: Look for warning signs of violence and take preventative action.
- During: Train and empower your people to make decisions during an attack to preserve life.
- After: Determine strategies to respond to and recover from a crisis.
Every organization should be proactive in preparing for violent attacks. Your actions have the potential to reduce or even prevent a crisis. View Church Mutual’s Armed Intruder information for ways to protect your people and organization, or contact Risk Control Central at email@example.com.
PLAYGROUND SAFETY CHECKLIST
Each year more than 200,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms because of playground injuries. Approximately 15 children die each year because of playground injuries. Many playground injuries can be prevented. Use this checklist to examine your playground so that children can run, jump, swing and slide to their heart’s content-safely. Download the Safety Checklist.
POLICIES, REPORTS, AND RESOURCES
SAMPLE SAFE SANCTUARY POLICIES
RESOURCES FOR INTERNET SAFETY
Internet Security and Safety Guide
Social Media Guide
Smart Phone Safety
Tween Tips for Social Media Safety
Internet Safety Rules Covenant Middle and High School Students ENG
Internet Safety Rules Covenant Middle and High School Students ESP
Internet Safety Rules Covenant Intermediate Students ENG
Internet Safety Rules Covenant Intermediate Students ESP
Internet Safety Rules Covenant Primary Students ENG
Internet Safety Rules Covenant Primary Students ESP
Real World Safety Rules Covenant for Kids ENG
Real World Safety Rules Covenant for Kids ESP