On this page you will find recommended resources to help you protect others and the ministry through which you serve.
The SW MN Synod Policy Regarding Sexual Misconduct
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. Click here to view and download your synod’s policy statement regarding sexual misconduct.
ELCA’s Resources for Sexual Misconduct Prevention
The ELCA also 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. Click here to view the ELCA Office of the Secretary’s Sexual Misconduct Prevention page.
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:
- appropriate boundaries between adults and youth
- abuse prevention
- clear procedure for high-risk situations
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.
Click the links below to view and download the format you wish to use.
- The Safe Haven Guidelines – Word Document
- The Safe Haven Forms – Word Document
- The Safe Haven Guidelines – PDF Document
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.
- Bullying – The Congregation’s Responsibility to Address Bullying
- Bullying, Harassment, And Related Violence Social Policy Resolution CA11.03.13
- A Message on Suicide Prevention
- Fuller Youth Institute – In the Aftermath of Suicide
- Justice for Women
- Racial Justice
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. Click here to view Church Mutual’s Risk Control, Safety Resources or check with your current insurance company for other resources.