Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Harvest the Power, 2nd Edition: A Lay Leadership Development Program for Adults

Leader Resource 2: Safe Congregation Scenario

For Workshop 3, Are We Doing the Right Things? Alternate Activity 1, Leadership and Management Alternate Scenario

Cut to create six different “roles” for the fishbowl role play. Give each of the six volunteer role-players a different slip.

Player One: Chair of the Board. You believe that having liability coverage is crucial to the well-being of the congregation and that you have a fiduciary responsibility to see to it that there is a safe congregation policy.

Player Two: You are concerned about finances, especially about any possible costs of criminal background checks. You are also concerned because a large donor has stated that they view background checks as an invasion of privacy.

Player Three: You are concerned about the implementation of any safe congregation policy. Who will be responsible? How will they get training? Do our current staff members have the time and bandwidth to take this on?

Player Four: You have been reading the latest news about child sexual abuse among volunteers and professionals who are entrusted with the well-being of children. From your point of view, a safe congregation policy cannot come soon enough.

Player Five: You keep thinking about the first UU Principle, the inherent worth and dignity of every person. How does this Principle apply when it comes to protecting children? What about our volunteers? Do background checks violate their worth and dignity?

Player Six: You have been with this congregation for a long time, and you trust everyone here. Requiring background checks and other policies seems to be unnecessary. You wonder if there really is any need for liability insurance—and you resent the insurance company for pushing the congregation around.