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St. Francis Episcopal Church
70 Highland Street
Holden, MA 01520
508.829.3344

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© 2018 St. Francis Episcopal Church

We are a constantly changing parish: new people join us while others move, or join the saints triumphant.  What remains constant – what binds us together with the people of God who have gone before us and who will follow us in this ministry to which we are called  – is Jesus Christ.

We are a people in mission to the world: called to be instruments of God’s peace by bearing witness to the love of God in Jesus for all people.

We are a people who share with God in the ministry of reconciliation and healing of this broken world

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We are a worshiping community, grounded in prayer and centered on Christ. In our life together we seek to be a people that are continuing to grow into the full stature of Christ, with God’s help.

We strive to be a learning community, a caring community, and a community called to serve the world. Our ministries aren’t ultimately about words on a web page, but about the men and women and young people who are on a journey together. The best way to learn more about our ministries is to join us in that journey.

A church is not a building, nor a steeple.  A church is a people!

We invite you to join us in this work.

SAFE CHURCH POLICY – SUMMARY*

The aim of this policy is to make our church a safe place—safe for those who worship, safe for those who minister, safe for those who come in need, safe for children and safe for all who seek or serve Christ. We believe that this policy helps us live out our Baptismal covenant to respect the dignity of every human being.

SCREENING, SELECTION, AND TRAINING FOR MINISTRY WITH AT RISK PERSONS**

Background checks will be performed on all clergy who are deployed or licensed to officiate within the Diocese, and on any diocesan and parish employees or volunteers who regularly work with children or youth. St. Francis clergy, lay employees, and volunteers who work with at risk persons will be required to attend Safe Church training or its equivalent as provided by the Diocese every three to four years.

 

BEHAVIORAL STANDARDS FOR MINISTRY WITH AT RISK PERSONS

Adults shall never, under any circumstances:

  • provide any at risk person with non-sacramental alcohol, illegal drugs or pornography

  • consume non-sacramental alcohol or illegal drugs or misuse legal drugs at any children’s or youth event

  • be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs or the misuse of legal drugs at any children’s or youth event

  • engage in illegal behavior or permit other adults or children or youth to engage in illegal behavior

  • engage in any sexual, romantic, illicit or secretive relationship or conduct with any at risk person

  • discuss their own sexual activities or fantasies with any at risk person

Firearms and concealed weapons are prohibited at any church activity. Clergy may make special exceptions for off-duty police officers or others required to carry firearms.

MONITORING PROGRAMS AND INTERACTIONS WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH

  • Plans for all events and ministries for children and youth should include at least two unrelated adults present at all times.

  • It may be appropriate for a church school class to have only one teacher so long as at least one other adult can maintain visual contact with the teacher.

  • Those driving children or youth need parental permission and all drivers must have a valid driver’s license and must be at least 21 years of age.

  • Adults occupying vehicles with children or youth should include at least two unrelated adults (second adult must not be a member of the youth group). One adult is acceptable only if the children being transported are the children of the driver.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA/DIGITAL COMMUNICATION POLICY

  • Closed groups will be used for youth groups (J2A, Rite 13, administrators, confirmation, pilgrimage, mission trips, etc.).

  • Groups will have at least two unrelated adult administrators. Additional requirements for administrators may be found in the parish’s Computers and Media Policy.

  • Any inappropriate material will be removed by the adult administrators.

 

HARASSMENT POLICY

It is the goal of St. Francis Church to promote an environment that is free of harassment—both sexual and non-sexual. Sexual or non-sexual harassment of church members, visitors, clergy, vestry or employees occurring in the church or in other settings related to the church will not be tolerated.

RESPONSE

Anyone who knows of a violation of these policies in a parish environment shall immediately report the violation to the Safe Church Officer, Rector, Associate Rector or Senior Warden.

*This is a summary only of the St. Francis Safe Church Policy. A full version of this policy and contact information is available upon request or may be viewed by clicking on the following link. St. Francis Safe Church Policy

**”At Risk Persons” shall be defined as children, youth, the elderly, and any persons made vulnerable to abuse by physical, mental, or developmental limitations.

Rev. 06.10.2015

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