Sexual Misconduct Policy

The Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is committed to preventing sexual misconduct within the Church and to responding with justice and compassion when such misconduct occurs. This statement of policy describes how your synod intends to fulfill these commitments. View and download your synod’s policy statement regarding sexual misconduct.

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ELCA’s Resources for Sexual Misconduct Prevention

The ELCA provides resources for congregations about preventing sexual misconduct, reporting of suspected abuse, and what to do if there is a known abuser in a congregation.

Where to report clergy sexual misconduct:

SW MN Synod Office
Bishop Dee Pederson
P.O. Box 499
Redwood Falls, MN 56283
Phone: 507-637-3904

ELCA Churchwide Office
ELCA Report Misconduct

Prevention of Sexual Misconduct Domestic Mission
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
8765 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631-4101
Phone: 773-380-2568

Synod Resources for Congregations

As we seek to protect children and vulnerable adults in the name of Christ, there are four steps we must do:

  1. Create guidelines or policies for child protection, including:
    • appropriate boundaries between adults and youth
    • abuse prevention
    • clear procedure for high-risk situations
  2. Create a screening process for volunteers and staff
  3. Provide training on how to prevent, identify, and respond to/report abuse
  4. Monitor and follow up on behavior

The Preventing and Responding to Abuse in Ministry document explains each step and ways to implement these steps. Click here to view and download (PDF).

For the sake of the witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are also intentional, open, and clear about the integrity and standard of conduct to which each congregation, institution, organization, or agency in ministry is called and to which its leaders are held accountable.

The Safe Haven Guidelines document is intended to provide guidelines for a safe haven for children and youth in congregational life. We encourage the use of these guidelines to develop policies for the prevention of child and youth abuse. It is intended and expected that local adaptations, changes, amplifications, improvements, expansions, or other types of revisions be made.

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Other Helpful Resources

As the church, we bear witness to God’s grace in our lives that comes to us through Holy Baptism. Becoming aware and preventing abuse affirms our baptism. The resources below will help you and your ministry establish a safe environment.

All of these ELCA and other resources are links; please click the titles below to view.

Your church/organization’s insurance is also a resource to consider. Some insurance policies require precautionary measures you must take for your policy to be in effect. The synod office is covered by Church Mutual Insurance Company. Church Mutual has numerous safety resources that meet the unique needs of churches/organizations.

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