Safe Haven Team includes: Joan D., Laura F., Jordan N., Andee’ P., Dwight R., and Pastor DanaLee. (It is the policy of Elim’s web site to not publish last names. Members of Elim will know who these individuals are and may find contact information in the Church Directory. Others may call the church office at 801-394-5543 for contact information.)
Because God embraces all people with His love, we believe that everyone should be safe. We, the community of Elim Evangelical Lutheran Church, will be advocates for all who participate in our ministries. We will establish clearly defined safeguards, policies, procedures, training and empowerment for our protection.
- To assure that our church is a safe place for all, especially for children, seniors, and the developmentally disabled.
- To train, empower, and protect the staff and volunteers of our church
- To design a ministry that maintains the integrity of church ministries, staffing needs, and our call from God to be loving and grace-filled
Phase 1 – These are things that are already done or will be done by June 5th.
Phase 2 – These are things that will be done by September 5th.
Phase 3 – These are things that will be considered in 2013.
Issues of safety in the building
- Glass windows and doors (instead of frosted) – Phase 2
- Lighting in the parking lot -Phase 3
- Sufficient number of fire extinguishers checked and certified (AAA checks yearly at their whim.) – Phase 1
- First Aid kits filled (1 in Sunday School storage room, 1 in kitchen, 1 in coat room outside of sanctuary, 1 in Church Administrator office) – Phase 1
- Signs posted in Sunday School rooms, kitchen, and sanctuary regarding locations of closest fire extinguishers and first aid kits – Phase 1
- Yearly review of who has keys done in February every year – Phase 1
- Keyholder yearly review of building safey and duties of being last one in the building. – Phase 1
Safety for staff when in building
- Install panic button to go with the alarm system – Phase 3
- Have staff carry cell phones on them when alone in the building and answering door – Phase 1
- Alert office of building use/which rooms are in use – Phase 1
Safety for Children
Safety for Seniors
- Training on movable chair – Phase 1 (ongoing)
- Chair assistant (ushers and greeters could help with this) – Phase 2
- Help up to Holy Communion – train ushers – Phase 1
- Have two adults (21 and over) at each night function (after dark) be in the parking lot 15 minutes before the start time as well as after the function is over to escort people to and from the building. – Phase 1
Safety for Developmentally Disabled
Linda C. and Deanna L. help – Phase 1
Issues of Safety in a Car
- Current driver’s license, proof of insurance, and signed driver’s checklist on file in office for anyone transporting someone (of any age) outside his or her family during a church sanctioned function (ie. Christmas caroling, ballpark). – Phase 1
- Drivers must be 21 to be drivers at church sanctioned function – Phase 1
SAFE COMMITTEE GROUP HISTORY
May 27-29, 2010 – RMS Synod Assembly. Resolution #3 was passed that Safe Haven Guidelines for Children, Youth and Adults would be implemented within each Congregation in the Rocky Mountain Synod. (See Full Resolution below.)
February 9, 2011 – Council voted to start the work of implementing a Safe Haven Policy at Elim. Work began to get a committee in place to work on this project.
June 6, 2011 – Safe Haven committee made up of Pastor DanaLee S., Joan D., Jordan N., Andee’ P., Dwight R. and Laura F. met for the first time and began their work. The committee met throughout the summer, into the Fall, to create Elim’s SAFE Policy. The committee used a Policy from First Lutheran in Longmont, CO, as a starting place for their work.
October 12, 2011 – Gave SAFE Policy to Council to look at for approval, feedback, questions, etc. before we take it to the congregation as a whole at our annual meeting on January 29, 2012.
January 8, 2012 – Safe Haven committee met to consider feedback from Council. We decided to scale back our work to something more manageable and practical. We began again, going forward with the idea that we would begin to implement a policy in phases. Phase one of the policy will be things that are already in place as well as things that will be fairly easy to get in place. Phase two are issues that will take a bit longer to get into place. In our conversation, we also discovered that we have to begin to communicate this much better in the congregation.
January 15th and 22nd, 2012 – Our committee held hour long meetings after worship to introduce our work so far, get feedback, hear others’ ideas, etc. About a dozen people attended these meetings. Their suggestions for additions to the policy and questions are included in the Safe Haven report included in the Annual Report for 2011.
January 29th, 2012 – Our Safe Haven Policy was rolled out at our Annual Meeting.
March 19, 2012 – Our team met to assign phases and finalize aspects of the policy in order that it could be turned in to the Synod before the Assembly. We assigned phases to each piece that we have identified so far so that things will be in place by the time VBS starts (Phase 1), Sunday School starts up again (Phase 2), and in 2013 (Phase 3).
Safe Haven Guidelines for Children, Youth and Adults Within Each Congregation in the Rocky Mountain Synod Adopted at Rocky Mountain Synod Assembly May 27-29, 2010
WHEREAS, in Baptism the congregation promises to support and pray for the baptized in a new life in Christ: and
WHEREAS, through Baptism we are entrusted with the great responsibility to live together as God’s faithful people; and
WHEREAS, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God . . .”(Mark 19:14, Luke 18:16); and
WHEREAS, God calls us to be a cross-generational community of faith and because young people are the most important gifts God entrusts to us, therefore it is vital to our ministry with families, outreach to our neighbors and our testimony to the wider church and world that the church takes seriously its responsibility to protect its children and the adults who care for them so all may flourish physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually; and
WHEREAS, congregations are influential institutions in our communities, therefore every congregation needs guidelines in place to protect their children, youth, the vulnerable and adults from abuse of any kind; and WHEREAS, creating a Safe Haven is a lifelong process of learning, caring and keeping our promises, therefore we desire our families, our immediate community, the wider church and the world to know we establish places where children are safe and we create ministry where children can flourish and adults are caring and trusted; and
WHEREAS, each congregation lives out its faith in a unique context and a unique community, therefore each congregation is encouraged to follow basic, general guidelines established by the synod, but each congregation’s policy will be their own and like no other;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that each congregation will be encouraged to create a Safe Haven Team and to establish basic Safe Haven guidelines, unique to each congregation’s context and ministry, by the date of the 2012 Rocky Mountain Synod assembly; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Rocky Mountain Synod will create a basic, but comprehensive, Safe Haven checklist; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each congregation’s Safe Haven team will use the Safe Haven guidelines, or checklist, established by the synod as a guide; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each congregation will train the adults who work with children and the vulnerable in one’s midst, to practice these Safe Haven guidelines regularly; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each congregation will hold youth, young adults and adults accountable to the Safe Haven guidelines created by that congregation and unique to that congregation’s context and ministry; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that each congregation will seek out ways to support families and educate new members related to the Safe Haven guidelines established by that congregation.