Safe Church Procedure Updates

With the national conversation around harassment and sexual abuse going on we are looking at our own policies and training surrounding the creation of a safe space to work and worship. This month the Diocese of California switched to a new company for our online safe church training and background checks. It hasn't been easy to switch over the systems, compile all the information about people who had been checked and trained using the previous system (from 82+ parishes, 2 camps, and 6 or 7 schools), communicate the changes, train folks in the new system, and all this in the middle of Advent. 

Our safe church policies haven't changed officially, but we are hoping that a new national policy will be introduced and passed at General Convention this summer. You can find our current policy, Called to Right Relationship, on the website here. Once we see what is passed by the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies, we will make some adjustments to our policy, too. A few of the suggested changes we are looking at include better improvements to safeguard the transgender community, more specific guidelines for youth and children's events, better training on sexual harassment, and detailed protocols for online communication. Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas, or help with rewriting the policy is welcome.

If your parish hasn't been contacted about setting up a new account for online training and background checks, please contact Caren Miles, Associate for Faith Formation. We will be training and introducing everyone to the new system over the next few weeks. It has been a tricky few weeks as we all learn new processes. It has been really nice to spend time talking and working with each parish so far. Everyone has been very kind and understanding as we adjust to the new system.

For the new trainings, there is a customizable, in-person training available for children's ministries, youth groups, vestries, choirs, mission trips, and parent's groups. Contact the Faith Formation office for details and to schedule yours.