We are a safe church
Marysville United Methodist Church pledges to conduct the ministry of Jesus Christ in ways that ensure the physical and emotional safety and spiritual growth of all of our children, youth, and vulnerable adults as well as all of our workers who serve in these capacities. We will follow reasonable safety measures when selecting and recruiting workers; we will implement appropriate operational procedures in all areas of programming and care; we will train our workers with children and youth on our procedures and policies; and we will have a clearly defined procedure for reporting a suspected incident of abuse consistent with Washington State law.
Jesus said, "Whoever welcomes a child welcomes me." (Matthew 18:5). Children are full participants in the life of the church and in the realm of God. Jesus also said, "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones..., it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6) Our Christian faith calls us to offer both hospitality and protection to children, youth, and vulnerable adults.
The General Conference of The United Methodist Church, in April 1996, adopted a resolution aimed at eliminating any potential for child sexual abuse in the church. The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church state that "...children must be protected from economic, physical and sexual exploitation and abuse." (Paragraph 162C, 2008 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church).
Five Year Older Rule
In recruiting and hiring primary and secondary workers and paid staff to work with children and youth in any position of authority, primary workers must be at least 25 years of age and secondary workers must be at least 18 years of age. Both primary and secondary workers must be at least 5 years older than the age of the persons they are serving.
Six Month Rule
Marysville United Methodist Church will not use anyone as a worker for children or youth in the church unless he or she has been a member of the church or a steady visitor for at least six (6) months. In some situations, this rule may be waived only by the senior minister or designee, with appropriate reference checks.
Background checks shall be made of all clergy, ministry staff, primary workers, and volunteers to the extent permitted by law, prior to employment or service.
Two Adult Rule
It is strongly recommended that at least two approved adults be present at all times during youth and children’s activities. This applies to church activities, activities away from the church facility and when transporting children and youth. When feasible, both male and female leaders should be present.
This rule allows for only one primary or secondary worker to be in a classroom when there is another approved primary worker floating through the building regularly. When using this rule, the classroom door must remain open at all times.
Open Door Policy
Parents of the children served and the church staff have the right to visit and observe the children’s/youth activity, classroom, or church-sponsored program at any time, unannounced.
No physical punishment or verbal abuse will be used at any time to discipline children, youth, or vulnerable adults. If isolating the child or youth within the classroom or removal of the child from the room becomes necessary, the teacher will notify the Children’s Director or Youth Director.
Marysville United Methodist Church is a public space therefore, we do not regulate who is and is not immunized in the nursery or in our Children’s ministry. All Nursery caregivers and Faith Educators are fully immunized.
Addressing Known Offenders in the Congregation
Marysville United Methodist Church welcomes all people into its doors. Those who have a history of child abuse are welcome to participate in adult worship, adult Christian Education, and adult social events. However, they are not to initiate direct contact with children, youth, or vulnerable adults on church property and/or church sponsored events. No person convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving physical or sexual abuse or neglect will be allowed to work with children, youth or vulnerable adults. The pastors will work with the individual to discuss and sign a Covenant of Conduct in order to clearly communicate the church’s Safe Sanctuaries Policy and abuse protection expectations.