Number of weeks: 2
Required books?: No
Live video session?: Yes, optional
Part of a certification or series of courses?: No
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Do your pastors and volunteers work in pairs when they visit members of your congregation? Has an institutional resident ever tried to give you their offering? Who stands up for anyone being bullied? What are your plans for members with early signs of dementia? How accessible is your building? How do you define a “vulnerable adult”?
Whether your congregation includes the care for vulnerable adults in your policy for reducing the risk of child abuse or creates a separate policy, it is your best preparation for reducing the risk in those situations and more!
In this two-week online workshop, you’ll learn why you should have and follow an up-to-date policy, what the policy includes generally and specifically, where to go for help when needed – and what your next steps should be, including writing (or editing) a policy, if needed.
Through readings, discussion questions, and an optional Zoom meeting, you will hear how volunteers with Vulnerable Adult ministries, pastors, administrators, and others, are reducing their risk of abuse or false accusations of abuse.
Participants should expect to spend an hour a day online in reading and responding, which will earn a completion certificate. Joy Thornburgh Melton’s book, Safe Sanctuaries: The Church Responds to Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of Older Adults, is recommended.
This course is eligible for 1 CEU.
About the Instructor
Beth Perry was ordained in the United Methodist Church but now has Privilege of Call in the United Church of Christ. She graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1994 and has a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Elizabethtown College. In addition to 20 years of pastoral and chaplaincy experience, she teaches religion, philosophy, critical thinking, sociology, and general education courses for the University of Phoenix in New Jersey and Mercy College. She has been active in Safe Sanctuary/Safe church training for a decade or more, and a consultant for more than 150 congregations working to reduce the risk of abuse in the church. She also leads workshops and retreats on Spiritual Gifts, meditation, and mysticism. Her courses, Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts, Leading Bible Study: Biblical Interpretation, and Teach Adults are approved as advanced courses in Lay Servant Ministries and Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts meets one requirement towards lay speaker status.
Past Students Said…
“Beth did an excellent job keeping up with all of us coming in with very different backgrounds and at different points in the process. I really liked that she split those that were editing/updating from those starting from scratch. The materials she shared were extremely helpful and after I get a chance to really digest them all, I will have an even better understanding of the topic!”
“I do feel after this workshop that I have a clearer vision and strategies on how to move forward with the process of writing the policy and implementing the policy. I love having perspectives from participants who already have a SS policy in place and understanding their challenges and benefits of the policy.”
“Safe Sanctuaries is a vital part of any churches response to its community of believers and to the greater community at large. This course will not only give you and your church the tools needed to write an effective policy, but also the tools to implement that policy and to help Safe Sanctuaries become an integrated part of life in your church.”
“Before we started, I was concerned about having time to work on the course every day. As it progressed, I saw that it was a well developed way to fit a lot of information into a relatively small amount of time. It was great to learn so much, so quickly! Thanks!”
“It was good to have the experience of “chatting” with others to get different perspectives and ideas for writing a complete and relevant Safe Sanctuaries Policy.”