The obligation to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to respect the dignity of every human being is binding for all the baptized. The authority with which leaders — ordained persons, adults who minister with minors (children and youth), youth in leadership roles, and adults who minister with vulnerable — are entrusted, creates an inherent power imbalance in the pastoral relationship. This power imbalance derives from the leadership role and, in the case of clergy, the symbolic authority of an ordained person. Christian leadership is intended to provide occasions for guidance and grace, and its abuse is always and unequivocally wrong.
Safe Church Model Policies
Updated in 2017, these policies are a statement for the Episcopal Church, setting forth expectations for its leaders in their relationships with children and youth. The purpose of these model policies is to foster the highest standards of behavior in ministry settings.
2020 Model Vaccination Policy
The following Model Vaccination Policy was adopted by Executive Council in their February 2020 meeting.
In response to the Executive Council resolution of June 2019, the DFMS has developed a model vaccination policy for its youth events, which dioceses and Episcopal institutions are encouraged to adapt locally. The primary purpose of this policy is to ensure the safety of all children at Episcopal Church youth events.
Sample Forms for Documents
The Office of Youth Ministries provides the following sample forms to help local ministries develop appropriate legal documents. They are guiding documents only and should be contextualized for local rules and regulations and approved by diocesan chancellors.