Children's Ministries
at St. Stephen's United Methodist Church
400 W. New Orleans
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma  74011
918-455-4202
Let's Protect Everyone with
Safe Sanctuaries!
ST. STEPHEN’S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
SAFETY POLICY FOR CHILDREN,
YOUTH AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
Introduction
Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes a child...welcomes me.” (Matthew 18:5)  He 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 those who cannot protect
themselves.
In response to this call and action of the 2003 Oklahoma Annual Conference, we
hereby commit ourselves as a community of faith to this policy of safety for
children, youth and vulnerable adults.

Purpose
Our congregation’s purpose for establishing this Safety Policy and accompanying
procedures is to demonstrate our absolute and unwavering commitment to create
within our ministries a “safe sanctuary” that will foster healthy growth and
development in spiritual and other dimensions as we have opportunity to provide
ministry.

Statement of Policy
Therefore, as a Christian community of faith and an Oklahoma United Methodist
congregation, we pledge to conduct the ministry of the gospel in ways that assure
the safety and spiritual growth of all our children, youth and vulnerable adults as
well as all those who work with them.  It is our policy to:

    •Follow reasonable safety measures in the selection and recruitment of
    workers
    •Implement prudent operational procedures in all programs and events
    •Conform our facilities to meet reasonable safety standards to reduce risk
    of harm or injury
    •Provide workers adequate training regarding the implementation of our
    policies, procedures and preferred methodologies
    •Provide adequate supervision and support for workers as they are in
    ministry on our behalf
    •Educate parents and others in our congregation as to our policies and
    procedures
    •Have in place a clearly defined procedure for reporting and responding to
    instances of injury, harm or abuse that conforms to requirements of state
    law
    •Respond with compassion and integrity to needs as they present themselves
    following incidents of harm, injury or abuse
    •Regularly review our policies and procedures to assure that they conform
    to current legal, health and safety standards

Conclusion
In all our ministries with children, youth and vulnerable adults, this congregation
is committed to demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ so that each person is
“surrounded by steadfast love...established in faith and confirmed and
strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal” (Baptismal Covenant II,
United Methodist Hymnal, p. 44).