Abuse Prevention & Safe Sanctuaries

Safe Sanctuaries logoThe 1996 General Conference of the United Methodist Church adopted a resolution aimed at reducing the risk of abuse of children, youth, and vulnerable adults in the church. This resolution was renewed by the 2004 General Conference and continues to be reaffirmed by each successive General Conference.

The Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference responded to this resolution by creating and adopting the Safe Sanctuaries Abuse Prevention Policy. Updates made in 2014 to the policy are intended to simplify the process of providing a safe community, while offering more resource to the local church.

It is the goal of this Annual Conference to live fully into our commitment "to create an environment of safe sanctuary for children, youth, and vulnerable adults and those who work with them". 1

In living into the Safe Sanctuary policy, each individual, congregation, and ministry setting has the opporunity to:

  • live out their biblical mandate to “ And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
    ” (Matt 18:5 NIV);
  • honor their Baptismal covenant to "...order our lives after the example of Christ, that we will surround each baptized person with steadfast love..."

and follow the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church which states, "children must be protected from economic, physical, emotional, and sexual exploitation and abuse"2.

For assistance with the Conference Safe Sanctuary Policies, contact your District Superintendent.

Abuse comes in many forms and occurs in many ways and in many places. Prevention of emotional, physical, verbal and sexual abuse is vitally important to us as United Methodists. Children, youth and adults hear about abuse and abuse prevention in school and in public media. It is important for all to know that their church is vitally concerned with their well-being as children of God.

--Bishop’s Task Force on Abuse Prevention   2010, Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference

1 2018 Conference Journal,Chapter Three, Policies of the Annual Conference, "Safe Sanctuaries Abuse Prevention Policy"
2 ¶162C