Safe Sanctuary Policy

Lancaster United Methodist Church 

Safe Sanctuary Policy


As a "Safe Sanctuary," Lancaster United Methodist Church has an unwavering commitment to the physical safety and spiritual growth of children, youth, vunlerable adults, the adults nurturing and guiding them and all who use our campus.  

Lancaster UMC categorically opposes any form of child and adult abuse of any kind. 

Further, we proactively engage in efforts to protect children and youth in our care to assure that this church and its activities are places of safety and nurture.

  • REGULAR AND UP TO DATE TRAINING OF ALL STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS: We schedule trainings and refresher courses for all our leaders, both staff and volunteers, and require them to renew their training on a yearly basis via This training includes not only basic awareness information and first aid training, but additonal on-site workshops on how to deal with individuals undergoing exceptional stress as well and dealing with any threats that may present themselves with regards to major emergencies and dangerous situations that may occur.  
  • SECURITY AT OUR SUNDAY MORNING SERVICES AND OTHER EVENTS: We also train our Ushers, Worship Leaders and additional Volunteers in loving, graceful, but clear and safe procedures to deal with troubled individuals, difficult situations or any potentially dangerous occurances that may arise as we gather for our activities. 
  • LIVE-SCAN FBI BACKGROUND CLEARANCE: All paid employees of Lancaster UMC, regardless of whether they work directly with minors, have undergone a Live-ScanFBI Background Clearance. This includes all members of the office staff and childcare staff, and select volunteers who are in key leadership roles.
  • VOLUNTEER INFORMATION SHEET: All volunteers working with minors at Lancaster UMC have completed an additional Volunteer Information Sheet which provides information such as prior church experience, leadership roles, a brief statement of faith, personal character references, and a signed statement indicating permission to perform a criminal background check.
  • STATEWIDE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK: All Staff and Volunteers who will be working with minors have had a statewide criminal background check performed.
  • REFERENCE CHECK: All Staff and Volunteers who will be working with minors have had their personal references checked and have undergone a detailed orientation about leading a children's or youth class.
  • "OPEN" CLASSROOMS: All classrooms have a "line of sight" into the room so that passers by can see what is going on in the classroom from the outside. In addition, parents are welcome to remain with their children at any time.
  • TWO-ADULT RULE: We strive to have two adults present in each classroom with minors. When this is not possible, we combine classes or leave doors open between classrooms.
  • REPORTING ABUSE: Lancaster UMC has a written procedure regarding the faithful reporting and plan of response to any allegation of abuse. The procedure includes cooperating fully with investigative and law enforcement agencies, maintaining the confidentiality of those involved, and providing appropriate pastoral care for those involved.
  • LIMITED ACCESS AGREEMENT:  A person who has been convicted of, has a history of, or who has an unresolved accusation of any sexual misconduct with a minor or adult shall never be allowed to volunteer or socialize with minors or vulnerable adults at any church or church-sponsored events and shall not be allowed to hold leadership roles in chidren's ministries of any sort at Lancaster UMC.  Any such person who does wish to worship at Lancaster UMC shall have a Limited Access Agreement on file with the church which sets clear boundaries regarding the activities the individual may and may not participate in. Congregation members shall be informed of the situation on an as-needed basis.


  • Sample Training and forms from State Street UMC are here.

• Read our United Methodist Church statement on Safe Sanctuaries here. 

  Adopted 2006
Updated 2012
 by the Lancaster UMC

Administrative Board