Conference and District Policies:
The Kansas East Annual Conference has three policies related to sexual ethics.
Sexual Ethics Policy for Church Professionals - This applies to persons serving in a ministerial role, including clergy regardless of status and regardless of the setting for ministry.
Sexual Ethics Policy for Lay Employees and Volunteers - This applies to lay employees and volunteers at the conference and district level.
Sexual Ethics Policy for Professing Members - This policy applies to laity who are professing members of the United Methodist Church in their relationship with clergy, regardless of the clergy's status or ministry setting. This is a new policy adopted at the 2009 Annual Conference and updated by the Leadership Team on Oct. 3, 2009.
Report a breach in sexual ethics using our toll-free phone number: 877-771-7003
Safe Gatherings is a Biblically-based boundary awareness and abuse prevention program developed by the Kansas East and Kansas West conferences to certify volunteer workers, staff and clergy, enabling them to work with children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities in accordance with the policies of the conferences.
In 1996, the United Methodist General Conference adopted a resolution to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse int he church. The resolution outlines specific steps to be taken to protect vulnerable people. Local churches and conferences are directed to develop an ongoing education and training program and screening and safety procedures. The resolution was affirmed in 2004 and 2008.
The annual conferences adopted policies in accordance with this resolution for the protection of children, youth and vulnerable adults. The annual conferences' program applies to all conference and district events, as well as all local church events and activities. By completing this certification program, individuals are authorized to work with children, youth and developmentally disabled adults in any church-related setting.
Safe Gatherings replaces Kansas East's Safe and Sacred Space program and will replace Kansas West's Boundary Awareness program.
Beginning July 1, 2012, all persons in the Kansas East Conference who are renewing or completing first-time certification will complete their education and certification process online. Both conferences will use this new online system, which replaces the current face-to-face training for certification.
Kansas West will begin using the system Sept. 1. Background checks, except for Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services, will be done electronically. The State of Kansas still requires an original signature, so a downloadable form will be provided for applicants to complete, sign and return to obtain the SRS background check.
Once registered with the online learning system, applicants have 30 days to complete the training process for certification. Training may be completed anytime, anywhere using the online system. Applicants may complete the training modules at their own pace and request reference letters electronically.
The cost is $30 for state and federal background checks. Applicants are responsible for making a secure online payment to cover the cost of their background check. Some local churches have opted to cover this expense for people associated with their congregation. If your local church is covering these expenses, that will be indicated as you complete the online application process.
CONTACT US at SafeGatherings@kswestumc.org or 800-745-2350 for more information or with questions about the program.