Safe Sanctuary Ministry

Groce United Methodist Church has acknowledged the potential risk for child abuse. An appointed Safe Sanctuary Committee developed a practical plan to reduce the risk of abuse by:

  • Drafting policy and procedures for activities involving children.

  • Developing a recruitment and screening procedure.

  • Formulating guidelines for staff and volunteers.

  • Developing a training program and a video training tool.


Please look for our Safe Sanctuary Brochures in the Church Office. These policies and procedures pertain to:

  • Sunday School

  • United Methodist Youth Fellowship

  • Children and Youth Choirs

  • Confirmation

  • Vacation Bible School

  • Church-sponsored Trips

  • Any time children gather for a church-related activity.


There are three requirements for anyone interested in working with children and youth at Groce UMC. A volunteer must:

  • Participate at GUMC for at least six months

  • Complete Safe Sanctuaries training either by participating in a two-hour training session this spring or by completing the electronic Individual Training Procedure.  

  • Authorize a background check.

If you interested in working with children or youth at GUMC, you may contact the Groce Church office, 298-7647.

From a Statement to Introduce Safe Sanctuary Policy to the Membership:

In April 1996, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church adopted a resolution aimed at reducing the risk of child abuse in the church. Since that time Groce UMC, in covenant with all United Methodist congregations, has been diligently working to develop and implement what we now know as “Safe Sanctuaries.”Groce UMC acknowledges the potential risk for child abuse. A Safe Sanctuaries Oversight Committee has been appointed to develop and insure the implementation of policies and procedures intended to prevent child abuse in our church. The policies of Safe Sanctuaries are intended to provide a safe and secure environment within the church and for any event connected with the ministries and operations of the church. While the primary reason for this policy is to prevent abuse and neglect of our children and youth, it has been adopted to protect all who enter our doors.

What are some of the policies that help make our church a safe sanctuary?

  1. All adults working with children and youth must have been a member of the church for at least 6 months. All adults working with children and youth must submit to a criminal background check and participate in the Groce UMC Safe Sanctuary training.

  2. Children and youth will be supervised by a minimum of two unrelated adults.

  3. Children and youth are supervised at all times.

  4. Authorized nursery release procedures.

  5. Open access to classrooms for outside observation.

  6. Specific policies are followed for emergencies.

  7. Specific policies are followed for off-site and overnight events.

Groce UMC is committed to the safety and spiritual growth of our children and youth. We need every adult in the church to help maintain the policies for Safe Sanctuaries. Policies and procedures are posted in every classroom, in the Groce Church office. Staff and Safe Sanctuary Committee members are eager to answer any questions and assist everyone in learning about our Safe Sanctuaries ministry. Please do not hesitate to contact any committee member for more information.