Safe Congregation Policy for Children, Youth, and Adults
Vision: God calls us to be followers of Jesus Christ and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to grow as communities of grace, joy and peace, so that God’s healing and hope flow through us to the world. (Vision Statement for Mennonite Church USA)
Our vision statement calls us to become a community of healing and hope, reaching out to the world in which there is a prevalence of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Nationally, 1 out of every 4 females will or has experienced some form of sexual abuse in their lifetime as well as 1 out of every 6 males. The most vulnerable populations to this type of abuse are children and youth.
In response to the reality of this devastating social issue, Hyattsville Mennonite Church seeks to create a faithful response through the implementation of Safe Congregation for Children, Youth and Adults. Our faith tradition is a source of strength and healing in difficult times. We profess that each person in the midst of our church community should have the assurance that our church is a safe place, without fear or threat of violence. We are committed to providing a safe, secure and healthy environment for all individuals who enter our doors.
Abuse brings suffering, erodes self-esteem, destroys relationships, splits families, and violates human integrity. Any type of abuse is an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust. Hyattsville Mennonite Church (HMC) will not allow, condone, or tolerate bullying, intimidation, sexual harassment or abuse of any individual. Recognizing that there is potential for abuse to occur in any congregation, HMC has taken preventive steps in developing a Safe Congregation Policy and Procedures Manual for Children, Youth and Adults.
As part of this process, congregational members will become informed about abuse and neglect and the need for creating a safe environment for all individuals.
All new staff persons as well as anyone who works with children and youth as a volunteer will:
- receive training and resources related to the issues in this policy;
- be asked to complete a “Memo of Understanding and Intent” to qualify for working with children and youth;
- have a background check.
We will continue to seek the Spirit as we strive to create and sustain a community of safety for all at HMC.
If there are questions or concerns please contact the HMC pastor(s) or any member of the Safe Congregations Committee.