Safe Sanctuaries Policy

Myers Memorial UMC, Gastonia, NC 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; therefore, we have adopted these policies.  updated 2018

  • A criminal background check and online Safe Sanctuaries training will be required every 24 months for all those 18 years and older that work with children, youth, special needs and older adults.
  • No Adult who has been convicted of, entered a guilty plea or a plea of nolo contendere/nocontest to, or been the subject of deferred prosecution or prayer for judgment continued for, a crime (felony or misdemeanor) involving children, youth, special needs or older adults should volunteer or otherwise be allowed to work with children, youth, special needs or older adults in any church sponsored activity.
  • We encourage a “two-adult rule” which requires no fewer than 2 adults present at all times during any church-sponsored program, event or ministry involving children, youth, special needs or older adults.  In cases where this places a great stress on the congregation, the other option is to let the second adult be a floater among classes or groups.
  • Provide first aid and CPR training on an annual basis for all church workers with children, youth, special needs or older adults. Encourage a first responder to be present during church/community events held at the church.
  • If youth, under the age of 18 work with infants an adult must be present.
  • Each room set aside for children and youth must have a window, a door with a window or a half door or an open door with a gate.
  • Advance notice and full information regarding events will always be given to all parents.
  • A posted sign on church grounds will state we are a “Safe Sanctuaries Church”.
  • A person wishing to volunteer for any area of service relating to children, youth, special needs or older adults should be involved at the church for at least six months.
  • All workers with children, youth, special needs or older adults must know the state requirements in reporting abuse to law enforcement authorities and child protective services.  In NC you are mandated, if there is reasonable cause, to report suspected cases of abuse.
  • If abuse is suspected by, observed by or disclosed to a volunteer and/or staff member of the church, that person shall report the incident immediately to the Senior Pastor.
  • Any contact with the media should be handled by a pre-determinded spokesperson.
  • One on one interactions/meetings are sometimes necessary. During theses times care must be taken that these meetings are in a visible environment and known by another adult.
Please use the following guidelines to avoid spreading illness to others in our congregation, especially our nurseries and children’s classrooms:   Please DO NOT bring your child to church if he/she displays any of the following:
  • Fever during the past 24 hours
  • Runny nose with discolored discharge
  • Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • An unexplained rash
  • Obvious Listlessness
  • Head Lice
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
In the event of a FIRE:
  • Notify the staff immediately. The fire alarm will sound.
  • Leadership will notify other classroom teachers.
  • Close the windows in your classrooms
  • Evacuate the building by following the exit route posted near exits.
  • Close the classroom door, but DO NOT Lock.
  • Provide assistance for persons with limited mobility.
  • Move at least 500 feet away from the building
  • Account for all persons.
In the Event of a necessary Lock Down or Severe Weather:
  • Staff or Safety personnel on the premises will notify teachers/leaders of the need for a lock down. Walkie Talkies are available to communicate with nurseries, staff and safety personnel.
  • Teachers will begin the lock down by locking the classroom door after taking any persons in the hallway into your classroom. Please remain there until otherwise advised and account for all persons.
  • Please move students to a location in the room that will provide maximum protection and visibility.
  • Staff will lock down all interior and exterior doors.
  • If a decision is made by staff or safety personnel to evacuate your classroom or the building, you will be directed.