Maintaining Healthy Relationships
The North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church is committed to the well-being of all United Methodists in the Conference and to maintaining healthy relationships between pastors and the persons they serve.
In light of the increasing national awareness of sexual harassment and abuse that has gone unreported, there is a need to reemphasize that the North Texas Conference has a zero-tolerance policy regarding any sexual misconduct either by clergy or lay people. The church should be a safe space where all people are valued as children of God, and those who have experienced hurt within its walls should be supported and protected.
It is important that church leaders (lay and clergy) are aware of the policies and procedures in place, if such a situation is reported to you. Please find below two documents: one focused on clergy experiencing sexual harassment and one focused on laypersons experiencing sexual harassment. Both include a list of people to contact for further support or information.
Local Congregation Sexual Harassment Policies
A clear and concise policy statement is a key part of a congregation’s plan to address sexual misconduct. Policy documents are intended to be used for prevention of, and education and guidance on appropriate responses to allegations of, sexual misconduct in the local church. Below are resources from the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women to help create a policy for you congregation. You can find these documents and more information at umsexualethics.org.
|Checklist for Drafting Policies and Procedures Addressing Sexual Harassment|
|Developing a Local Church Policy Statement||Policies from other conferences|