Protecting Those in the Care of the Church
The church should be a safe place where people can worship, learn, work, love and receive care in a manner that is free from sexual misconduct. All forms of sexual misbehavior by rostered ministers and lay leaders are unacceptable within the life of the church.
ELCA Church-Wide Resources
Early in the life of the ELCA, this church clearly expressed its intention to take whatever measures it could to help prevent sexual abuse and misconduct within the ELCA.
Resources are available from the ELCA churchwide website to inform reporting, risk reduction, and more.
Child Protection Policies
- The “Youth Protection Policy for Synod-sponsored Youth Events” (pdf file) was adopted by the Synod Council in 2013, and highlights policies to care for and protect children including our synod’s background check policy.
- Developing/revising a Child Protection Policy in your congregation? Call the synod office. We can provide guidance and direct you to other congregations with existing policies.
- Although some links may no longer be active since being compiled in 2013, an “Information on Raising Awareness of or Responses to Sexual Abuse” resource list (pdf file) is available which points to child/youth protection, sexual harassment and general resources; and policy samples
Reporting of Misconduct
- Most states require allegations of abuse against a minor to be reported to state authorities. You should call local law enforcement authorities or go to your state/commonwealth/district government website and find the appropriate office for reporting child abuse.
- Sexual misconduct committed by congregational employees should be reported to the pastor, council president or other congregational officer; and/or other direction provided by the congregation’s policy.
- ELCA Synods usually have responsibility for addressing allegations of clergy sexual abuse, administering appropriate discipline, and responding to those who have been harmed. The Metro D.C. Synod has adopted a “Statement of Policy Regarding Sexual Misconduct by Members of the Clergy and Rostered Laypersons,” which includes a list of persons who will receive reports of misconduct. Review this document in its entirety.
Boundary & Inclusion Trainings for Rostered Ministers
As people who work with people, we know the importance of relationships. We also know that healthy relationships depend upon clear and respectful boundaries. Rostered ministers need thoughtful and consistent training around boundaries because of the variety of their relationships.
Metro D.C. Synod leaders (active and retired) are expected to attend a boundary training workshop EVERY year.
We are currently partnering with Region 9 to offer a three-year cycle of boundaries workshops. The next series will be held:
Monday, September 13 from Noon – 5:00 PM
Saturday, October 9 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Tuesday, November 16 from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM