Welcome to the web pages for the Office of Congregational Ethics and Safety. You’re in the right place if you’re looking for resources and information about safe congregations, covenants, disruptive behavior, right relations, professional misconduct (ministers as well as other religious professionals) including information about complaint procedures, disaster trauma response, and other concerns regarding ethics and safety. Below are links to resources, followed by additional important information about safe congregations.
District and Regional staff are available to consult with congregational leaders, ministers, religious educators about issues of sexual misconduct and boundary violations. Many districts have Safe Congregations Teams to help Unitarian Universalist congregations build safer communities by addressing issues of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Some teams conduct workshops for district meetings and annual religious education conferences. Contact your district office for further information.
Newly online effective November 2010, the Safe Congregation Handbook is an excellent resource for nurturing healthy boundaries in faith communities, with clear guidelines, principles, policies, tools and workshops to help congregations create an environment that is safer and more secure for both children and adults
Balancing Acts, the interactive online resource educates congregational leaders on developing a safe congregation policy with a focus on the safety of children and how to prepare for the possibility of a sexual offender in the congregational community. The 2½-hour, free course of study is based on Balancing Acts—Keeping Children Safe in Congregations, a resource written for the UUA and available as an online resource since 2005. It is fair to say that the feedback from those taking this UUA online course has been overwhelmingly positive. Of those who took the post test, the average grade was 86%, indicating that the self-paced course is well-organized and communicating the essential points of creating safe congregations policies.
The Office of Ethics and Safety develops and makes available to congregational leaders education, training, and other resources and services. The goals of this program are to support leaders in creating safer space within their congregations, encourage right relations among persons who are part of the congregation, and endorse just relations between the congregation and the larger community of which it is a part. The conflict management component of this program will provide additional support and resources to our districts and regions in their support of congregations and find an appropriate role for the UUA in direct service, developing resources and delivery systems as needed.
For more information contact safecongregations @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Sunday, July 21, 2013.
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Safe Congregation Handbook is no longer published. It is available as an online workshop.
Reproductive Justice and the UUA
Working for Safety to End Oppression (PDF, 11 pages)
Coping with Food Allergies in the Congregational Classroom (PDF)
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