Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church
The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church, to which Quakertown United Methodist belongs, adopted a resolution aimed at reducing the risk of child abuse in the church. Why do we need to implement a plan to prevent child abuse? Because God has called us to make our ministries safe, protecting our children, youth and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation. God has also called us to create communities of faith where children, youth and vulnerable adults can be safe and grow strong.
Jesus taught “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me,” (Mark 9:37 NRSV) and “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 NRSV).
The Social Principles of The United Methodist Church state “… children must be protected from economic, physical, and sexual exploitation and abuse.”
At children’s baptism, we affirm our responsibility to their safety by our congregational response, pledging: “With God’s help, we will so order our lives after the example of Christ that this child, surrounded by steadfast love, may be established in the faith, and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal.” (The Book of Worship, Baptismal Covenant, Congregational Pledge II)
Building on these foundations, we recognize that our faith calls us to offer hospitality and protection to all children, youth and vulnerable adults, as well as those who are committed to ministering to them as volunteers and employees. Every 15 seconds, a child is abuse or neglected. Often, abuse occurs in places where children and youth feel safe – homes, schools, camps and even churches. In over three quarter of reported cased, the victim was related to or acquainted with the abuser. In light of this, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church has seen fit to establish this policy that can help to:
1. Prevent such abuse from happening in our churches
2. Make our churches places where children can feel safer in disclosing abuse
3. Protect the loyal volunteers and employees that minster to our children, youth and vulnerable adults.
The Quakertown United Methodist Church’s Administrative Board approved our Safe Sanctuary policy, as it conforms to the standards set by the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. The policy is available for review in the church office or it can be downloaded here. We encourage our members, especially those with children and those who work with children, to be familiar with the policy.
For our members wishing to become an Approved Volunteer Leader, please see the church office for a copy of the Safe Sanctuary policy and a list of the background check requirements. All instructions and links are provided on this website: