Safe Church

The members and leadership of St. Mark’s commit through these values to create a worship, service, and learning community that is a safe haven for all God’s people.

Sensitivity

We are SENSITIVE to the personal physical boundaries of others. We practice “mirroring”; i.e. we embrace only when the other initiates the action and both are comfortable with the action. † We encourage handshakes, fist bumps, pats on the back, and side hugs.

Awareness

We are AWARE of the actions and behaviors of others. We are conscious of appropriate interaction between adults and children. † We are vigilant for signs that children, elders, and those with physical or mental challenges are being mistreated both inside and outside the church.

Fairness

We practice FAIRNESS when a person does not live up to our Safe Church values. In a case of misconduct, we contact the appropriate entities, including the Bishop’s office, police, or DCF. We take mandated reporting seriously. † All cases are treated within the bounds of appropriate confidentiality.

Education

We EDUCATE ourselves about the issues that make the church a safer place. All volunteers who work regularly with children and youth receive Diocesan Safe Church training. † We believe that the dialogue about safe church practices is ongoing and important.

Community

We are a COMMUNITY that functions better when we work together. When working with minors, two adults are present at all times (or employ a roving adult) † We embrace an open door policy and promote visibility when private consultation is necessary.

Health

We celebrate that our church is a place of HEALTH and wholeness. Sexual misconduct, abuse, harassment, and exploitation of any kind are not tolerated. † Our leadership maintains proper boundaries and self-care disciplines. † The building promotes safety with clear signage, first-aid kits, and adequate lighting.

Universality

We make these values UNIVERSAL by expanding them to our lives outside the church. We recognize and celebrate that these values help us live out our Baptismal Covenant.  † We treat social media interactions with minors as if they were happening at fellowship hour.

Respect

We RESPECT the dignity of all persons and seek and serve Christ in them. We engage only in appropriate and constructive speech. † Discrimination based on gender, race, religion, creed, color, national origin/ancestry, physical/mental challenge, medical condition, marital status, age, or sexual orientation is not tolerated.

Consistency

We are CONSISTENT in our volunteer recruitment practices. People new to the church wait six months before volunteering with ministries that involve regular contact with children. † All volunteers acknowledge and agree to uphold these values and practices to the best of their ability.

Hospitality

We extend HOSPITALITY toward all who come to the church. Our church is a place for healing and wholeness where all are welcome. † We live by these values, promoting a community where all people can worship God in a loving, caring, and nurturing environment.

WITH GOD’S HELP, WE PROMISE TO LIVE BY THESE VALUES.