I recently finished up a course on Safer Congregations for religious professionals, and I came away with the idea of safety as ministry. I learned that a culture of safety within a congregation is a shift that ensures a safer congregation and community. Having policies in place is vital, yet if the congregation as a whole doesn’t know it exists or it is not made available as part of the culture of welcoming, we do a disservice to our community.
BVUUF has policies in place which continue to be reviewed. This Fellowship is well on it’s way to a culture of safety.
The interim time is prime for reviewing and assessing the current policies and procedures, especially as they relate to children, youth and families.
Carol is working with a team of people to ensure the Safer Congregation policies are up-to-date. The School of the Spirit Council is reviewing the current policies and invite your participation. If you’d like to serve for a short term project, this could be a place for you.
The congregation as a whole can be engaged in the follow ways:
- share responsibility for the safety and security of the congregation
- be familiar with the Fellowship’s policies and support the staff and leadership as they implement them
- bring any concerns about safety to the person responsible for that area of ministry in your congregation
- live a covenant of right relations
- be involved in ongoing education and practice
You can view the current policy HERE and look for more information soon. The upcoming First Aid/CPR training is one way we’re keeping staff and others certified and current. The training is Sunday, February 24, 1-3:30 p.m. Cost is $40. If interested, contact me, De Anna at DirectorRE@bvuuf.org.
“We establish places in the world where we can feel safe. The most common such places are our homes and our religious communities. It is important, therefore, that these places, our homes and congregations, be places of justice and nurture, be islands of hope in a world too often in despair. This sense of security in life, a security provided by religion, has been called Sacred Canopy. That is, theologically, religion provides a safe covering, an enclosure, a place where insecurity vanishes, at least temporarily.” ~ Rev. David M. Bryce, First Unitarian Society of Westchester, MA.
So may it be,
In peace, De Anna