Safe Sanctuaries

Safe Sanctuary is an overt expression in making congregations safe places where children, youth, and elders may experience the abiding love of God and fellowship within the community of faith.

Bethesda UMC at Haw Creek Commons believes that scripture instructs us to care for the children brought into the church. These children may be regular attenders, or they may be the children of guests, grandchildren of our members, or others. Regardless of how these children come to us, we covenant to commit to their protection, and in doing so to represent God’s justice and mercy in the world.


  • As part of our commitment to care for, and protect, the minors, defined as anyone under the age of 18, as well as the vulnerable adults among us, we commit to the following:
  • Conduct a background check on each individual displaying interest in working within our Children and Youth Ministries
  • Ensure two adults working alongside the children will not only be at the minimum age of 18, but non related as well.
  • All volunteers and/or staff will be trained based on the Safe Sanctuary policies and procedures
  • One-on-one interactions with children and youth will be with an open door and visibility to all.
  • All classroom and office doors will have a window or visibility from hallway or remain open while occupied.
  • Windows will be kept free from adornment

In all of our ministries with children, youth, and vulnerable adults, this congregation is committed to demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ so that each child, youth and vulnerable adult will be “surrounded by steadfast love…established in the faith and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal.” (Baptismal Covenant II, United Methodist Book of Worship, p.96).