Safe Church Policies are a priority at St. John’s, in our ECMN diocese, and throughout the Episcopal Church. Many of us might think of them as rules to keep children safe from sexual abuse. While this is an important part of their purpose, the scope of Safe Church Policies is much broader. These practices are intended to ensure that our faith communities are safe places where all of God’s people are loved and encouraged to grow into the people God calls us to be.
We stayed home during the pandemic to keep each other safe. We are getting vaccinated, if able, to keep each other safe. As we come back together to worship in person and resume other ministries in person this fall, we are following reopening protocols and practicing Holy Assent to keep each other safe. Safe Church Policies are another way we care for each other and keep each other safe.
For all parishioners: Be familiar with the guidelines
Last year, the Episcopal Church in Minnesota updated their Safe Church Policies, reflected in our own guidelines adopted by our vestry. As part of being a safe and welcoming place to worship, all parishioners must be familiar with these guidelines. If you haven’t followed these steps yet, here’s what you need to do:
- Read the updated Safe Church Guidelines. If you have questions, contact rector Jered Weber-Johnson or administrative assistant Hanna Stenerson.
- Sign and initial the Code of Conduct on Page 9 (even if you are not described by one of the positions in the list). You can print it out on paper or use your PDF reader’s “fill and sign” function before resaving the file.
- For parishioners volunteering with our Children, Youth, and Family Ministry or with Community of Hope International: fill out the Background Check forms on pages 11 and 13.
- Return your form(s) by mail to the church office (60 Kent Street, Saint Paul MN 55102) or by emailing Hanna at [email protected].
For anyone who needs training:
Safe Church Training is required for most volunteers and needs to be renewed every 3 years. To check whether you need to renew, contact Hanna Stenerson at [email protected]. If renewal is not completed when necessary, you will no longer be eligible for volunteer positions until you renew your training. Background checks are also conducted after training takes place.
Upcoming Safe Church Training sessions:
- Safe Church for God’s Children, required for all keyholders or those volunteering with children, youth, or vulnerable adults:
Saturday, July 17, 9am-12pm by Zoom — Register here
Thursday, August 26, 9am-12pm by Zoom — Register here
- Safe Church for God’s People, required for staff, spiritual directors, lay eucharistic ministers, and pastoral care volunteers:
Saturday, August 28, 9am-12pm by Zoom — Register here
Please Disregard Emails from Praesidium
Our diocese uses a database system called Praesidium to store Safe Church Training records. This system is being upgraded, and as a part of that upgrade, all those who have been trained in Safe Church in-person or online will receive an automated email.
Please disregard this email, which requests you create an account. ECMN will continue to store training records on your behalf and you do not need a personal account.
Also disregard any emails stating that your training has expired. Part of this database system’s update includes automatic notices of training expiration to go out every year. We have asked the company that makes this system to turn off these notices, but they are unable to do so. For now, all we can do is ask you to disregard them. Per ECMN’s Safe Church policies, training renewal is still required every three years,
If you have any questions about Safe Church policies or trainings, please email [email protected].
Thank you for helping to keep each other safe.