At the last Diocese of Long Island Convention Proposition #4 was unanimously passed by all delegates. It was a change in the Canons of the Diocese to better align our local parishes with the current best practices of the wider church with respect to Safe Church issues.
According to the Safe Church Training Guidelines introduction: The Diocese of Long Island intends that every parish congregation and every ministry be always places of community, learning, grace, insight, and caring. This begins by assuring that they are safe places. By that we mean, places where the vulnerable are protected from harm, and where all live and work with respect for one another. This beginning point aims toward an end point at which our gathering places for worship, community, and service are experienced as anticipations of the Kingdom of God.
There are now new policies for Sexual Harassment, Sexual Exploitation, and Protection of Children and Youth in the Diocese of Long Island. Caroline Church also has Policies in effect within those areas.
I am sure we all understand the seriousness of these issues and want our parish to be a welcoming, nurturing and safe environment for all. This being the goal, all parishes within the Diocese, will be requiring that certain individuals within a parish participate in safe church training. Many of our parishioners have already done so with either in-person training or on-line training. However, if you have completed your training over 5 years ago, you must renew.
Diocesan directive for training applies to:
¨ Vestry Persons, because of the authority they have to effect parish policy, procedures and program.
¨ Leaders of Groups who regularly use our church facilities, because of their wide access to church settings where children, youth and vulnerable populations are present.
¨ Key-holders, because of their unencumbered access to church facilities.
This directive then includes all employees of Caroline Church, Clergy and staff, Eucharistic Visitors, church school teachers, Children’s Choir Director, Lay youth ministers, volunteer youth directors, nursery workers, Confirmation Mentors, VBS teachers and adult helpers, adults who participate in overnight activities with children or youth more than twice a year, and all those of whatever age possessing a key to the church, parish house or MCS building.
Although you can participate in Safe Church Training by attending a class at Mercer School of Theology in Garden City, almost all of our parishioners would be able to complete an on-line course at any time convenient for them. Safeguarding Online provides training in short, focused courses that can normally be completed in 30 – 40 minutes, and may be taken from any location where a high-speed internet connection is available. A specific password will be given to each individual user.
Our Caroline Church Safeguarding Online Administrator is Chris Haring, who will assist members of our parish in signing in and accessing Safeguarding Online training. If you have any questions about this policy please speak with Chris or Canon Richard.