Some of the most critical ministries of the church are those that impact youth and children. Lasting relationships begin around a lunch table at camp. Passionate discipleship is born during Sunday/mid-week family programs. The lessons learned at VBS last a lifetime, youth learn leadership, build mentoring relationships, and discover God at work in them during youth group. All of this is made possible by the commitment of service offered by volunteers, parents, and staff. The conference Board of Camping and Retreat Ministries has updated the Conference Safe Sanctuary policies and guidelines (policy regarding children and youth workers). We offer this policy to each church and ministry setting as a model to guide local churches as they update their policies. It is also ready to go as a policy that can be adapted and adopted for local church use.

Additionally, the Conference has contracted with Safe Gatherings to offer complete and thorough screening, background checking, and training for all people working with children. The fee per registration covers the screening, background check, and online training, and once completed, it is suitable for three years. Each local church can use Safe Gatherings if they wish. Learn more about Safe Gatherings at https://dscumc.org/safe-sactuaries.

Life-changing children and youth ministry begin by equipping those who serve for success by ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all participants. We hope that you will use the Safe Sanctuary policy and take advantage of Safe Gatherings in your ministry settings today!

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