Revised and adopted 6/2023

Safe Sanctuary Policy rev. 6/2023

Safe Sanctuary Policies & Guidelines




The General Conference of The United Methodist Church, in April 1996, adopted a resolution aimed at reducing the risk of child sexual abuse in the church. The following is a reflection on the adopted resolution. (Book of Resolutions, 2016 # 3084) 

A central tenet of the Christian faith is the inherent value and worth of all children, youth, and adults. Children, youth, and other vulnerable people are least able to protect themselves in our society and are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect. The United Methodist Church is eager to do all it can to protect the youth, children, and other vulnerable people who participate in the life of this congregation. 

We believe implementing a policy and adopting procedures to protect our children, youth, and other vulnerable people recognizes that: 

Our Christian faith calls us to offer both hospitality and protection to our children, youth, and other vulnerable people. The Social Principles of the United Methodist Church state, "...children must be protected from economic, physical and sexual exploitation and abuse." The Social Principles also state, "...all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God." 

Tragically, churches have not always been safe places for children, youth, and other vulnerable people. Neglect, sexual abuse, and exploitation occur in churches, both large and small, urban and rural. The problem cuts across all economic, cultural, racial, and ethnic lines. God calls us to make our churches safe places, protecting children, youth, and other vulnerable people from abuse. 

Abuse prevention and ministry protection policies and procedures are essential for congregations, not only for the protection and safety of our children, youth, and other vulnerable persons, but also for our volunteers and staff working with them. 

The Gospel calls us to be engaged in ministry with children, youth, and other vulnerable persons (Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth, page 10). 

Jesus taught, "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me" (Mark 9:37 NRSV) and "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones... it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matthew 18:6 NRSV). 

  • We should not allow possible risks to undermine or stop our ministry. Rather, we must: 

  • Acknowledge the risks and develop a practical plan to address these issues; 

  • Take steps to prevent harm to our children, youth, and other vulnerable persons; and

  • Continue to answer the Gospel's imperative to be in ministry with children, youth, and other vulnerable persons, thus making a difference in their lives. (adapted from Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth, page 10). 

  • Safe Sanctuaries policies and implementation of practices that reflect those policies seek to fulfill this call for our church. 

Volunteer/Staff Selection Policies

All volunteer and paid staff who work with children, youth, and other vulnerable people at Bear Creek UMC will be: 

  • At least 21 years old. Exceptions apply for approved youth helpers. 

  • At least five years older than the oldest child/youth they will be supervising. 

  • A regular attendee at Bear Creek United Methodist Church for at least six months. Rare exceptions may be made in consultation with the pastor in charge for special situations. 

All volunteer and paid staff (including clergy) who work with children, youth and other vulnerable people at Bear Creek UMC will: 

  • Complete and sign an application and the related waivers giving permission to check references and background information. 

  • Provide the names and contact information of three personal references. 

  • Undergo a criminal background check if they will have leadership responsibility for children/youth/other vulnerable people. Individuals who have been convicted of physical or sexual abuse or neglect may not work in any church-sponsored activity or program for preschoolers, children, youth or other vulnerable people. 

    • All applicants must be interviewed for suitability for the work they desire to do. Interviews will be conducted by the leader of the program in which the applicant will work. Church policy and guidelines should be discussed during the interview. 


Prior to working in the youth's or children's ministries (or any area including other vulnerable people), workers must undergo child protection safety training. Comprehensive training on issues of child sexual abuse in church settings shall be required for all clergy, paid staff, and volunteers (e.g., youth group leaders) who regularly supervise activities for children, youth, and other vulnerable people. This training should be offered at least annually. 

Ministry Supervision Guidelines 

Whenever supervising activities involving children and youth at Bear Creek UMC, at least two non-related adults (including at least one screened adult) will always be present.

  • Children, youth, and other vulnerable people will be checked into and out of a church-sponsored activity by their parent or legal guardian or people authorized by the parent/legal guardian. 

  • Participants will have access to a telephone or cell phone when groups are at or away from the church facility. 

  • One-on-one interactions with children and youth will be with an open door and visible to all. The pastor, parent or guardian, or another screened adult should be aware of any such interactions. 

  • Activities with children, youth and other vulnerable populations should be publicly accessible. Anyone has the right to visit and observe the children's/youth's/other vulnerable person's activity, classroom, or church sponsored program at any time, unannounced as long as the two-adult rule is being followed. Exceptions to this right may be issued at the discretion of church leadership. 

  • All classroom and office doors will have a window or be visible from the hallway, or doors should remain open while the room is occupied. 

  • Windows will be kept free from adornment. 

  • If the two-adult rule cannot be observed, a screened, designated roamer will regularly check on groups with only one adult. 

  • For overnight events at the church and church-sponsored off-premise activities, two or more screened adults must be present. This arrangement must include at least one male and one female if the group is mixed gender. 

Whenever Bear Creek UMC transports children, youth, or other vulnerable people away from the church campus, 

  • No youth should drive to/from events. 

  • An adult should never transport a child/youth/other vulnerable person alone. 

  • Drivers of church vehicles should be approved and covered by the church's insurance company. 

  • Drivers should go through the same screening process as all other paid/volunteer staff. 

The use of electronics or media communications may be useful tools in supporting ministries with children, youth, and other vulnerable people. However, in such circumstances, the following requirements shall be met: 

  • The volunteer or staff person shall never initiate a connection (friending, following, etc.) on social media. 

  • If a student initiates a connection, the child, youth, or vulnerable person's parent or guardian as well as the pastor in charge shall be notified. 

  • If an adult leader receives a private text from a child, youth, or vulnerable person that seems to be questionable, the adult leader should immediately end the conversation in the virtual space and offer opportunities to have the conversation in person and in compliance with the earlier guidelines for one-on-one conversations. The ministry supervisor and/or parent/guardian should be made aware of the incident immediately. 

Note: If an in-person meeting is not possible, those involved will determine the most reasonable alternative in compliance with the earlier guidelines for one-on-one conversations. 

  • Adult leaders should post photos on social network sites only with prior written permission granted by a parent/guardian. When posted, PHOTOS MUST NOT BE TAGGED with names or location indicators. All photos must be appropriate and in keeping with the spirit of the ministry event. 

  • All in-person protection policies apply to online platform meetings like Zoom, Skype, Messenger, and so on. (For example, two unrelated adults should be present in the virtual room just as they would be in a physical room.) 

  • An official church account should be established and used for online activities, not a personal account. 

  • Communication about online meetings should be shared with parents/guardians as well as with children, youth, and other vulnerable people. 

  • Adult leaders and participants should use their real names as usernames. 

  • Attendance of online meetings should be documented. 

  • All electronic communications shall be documented and retained. 

Whenever Bear Creek UMC hosts an activity involving children, youth, or other vulnerable people from another church or community organization, 

  • Groups using the church facility will follow Bear Creek UMC's Child, Youth, and Other Vulnerable People  Protection Policies and procedures. 

Bear Creek UMC volunteer and paid staff, including clergy, will be given the opportunity for training about Safe Sanctuaries policies, procedures, and child abuse issues on a regular basis. They will be rescreened every three years. 

If a suspected incident of child abuse or neglect occurs or is revealed to a volunteer/paid staff person at a Bear Creek UMC-sponsored activity, the adult in charge of the activity will: 

  • Ensure the safety of the child, youth, or other vulnerable person. 

  • Call the ministry supervisor, pastor in charge, or designee. 

  • Call the appropriate county/state hotline. 

Congregational Covenant and Adoption 

Bear Creek United Methodist Church's purpose for establishing this Child, Youth, and Vulnerable Person Protection Policy and accompanying procedures is to demonstrate our total and unwavering commitment to the physical wellbeing, emotional safety, and spiritual growth of all our children, youth, and vulnerable people. 

We adopt this policy in accordance with the statement we as a congregation make at each baptism-that we will "nurture children and youth in the Christian faith and life and include them in our care." With this policy, we renew our baptismal pledge to "live according to the example of Christ" and surround children, youth and other vulnerable people with a "community of love and forgiveness, that they may grow in their trust of God, and be thus confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal." (Baptismal Covenant II, United Methodist Book of Worship, p.96). 

This policy coordinates and supersedes the previous policies used by Bear Creek UMC. 

As a Christian community of faith and a United Methodist congregation, we are committed to conduct the ministry of the gospel in ways that assure the safety and spiritual growth of all our children, youth, and vulnerable people, as well as all the workers with the children, youth, and vulnerable people. By this policy and its accompanying procedures, we implement prudent operational procedures in all programs and events. 

  1. Training: We will conduct training on this policy and its procedures to assure that adults involved in activities with children, youth, and vulnerable people are aware of these standards and will abide by them. 

  2. Screening: All adults and minors above the age of fourteen who have a direct involvement with activities covered by this policy and its procedures will be screened in accordance with Pacific Northwest Annual Conference policy. All people who are subject to this policy will be rescreened every three (3) years. 

Any person who was screened but, for whatever reason, has been absent from the

Bear Creek UMC community for more than one (1) year and thereafter returns, will be rescreened. 

C. Supervision: All activities covered by this policy and its procedures will be supervised by the appropriate number of screened adults. 


In all our ministries with children, youth, and vulnerable people, Bear Creek United Methodist Church is committed to demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ so that each of God's children here will be "surrounded by steadfast love, established in the faith, and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal." ("Baptismal Covenant 11," United Methodist Hymnal, p.44.) 

This Child, Youth, and Other Vulnerable People Protection Policy is adopted by action of the Bear Creek United Methodist Church this 5 day of June, 2023. 

Appointed clergy and/or supply pastor(s):

Chair, Staff Parish Relations Committee: 

Chair, Church Council:.

Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Policy 

In accordance with the laws of the State of Washington and the policies of the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Sexual Abuse and Awareness policy is added to the Bear Creek United Methodist Church Safe Sanctuary Policy. 


All members and staff of Bear Creek UMC who are in direct contact with juveniles or adults who are at risk (physically or cognitively challenged) will pass a background check provided by the PNW Conference, as well as the Sexual Abuse Awareness Training, also mandated and provided by the PNW Conference. 

Bear Creek UMC will maintain a log of those who have passed both the background checks and Sexual Abuse Awareness Training, and will update as needed, or as directed by the PNW Conference. 


The guidelines for prevention of sexual abuse among juveniles are: 

  • Protective Barriers: Providing safe areas for all children that will not allow isolation. 

  • Gatekeepers: Awareness by those who are in charge of children's activities that sexual predators groom both the children and gatekeepers for acceptance and trust. 

  • See something-say something. Availability of staff or SPRC members to listen and take action appropriate to the situation including investigation and reporting to authorities and the PNW Conference if needed. Guidelines provided by the PNW Conference are specific, and are included. 

  • Chapter 9A.44 RCW (Washington State) defines sex offenses, including child molestation. This chapter is inclusive in this policy. 

  • Specific guidelines regarding juvenile contact with adults include

a)  Same sex assistance in bathroom for children needing assistance

b)  Open door policy for one-on-one contact between adult and child

c)  Committee chair/supervisor approval of scheduled activities, to include adequate supervision. 


The Pacific Northwest Conference has provided specific guidelines for reporting an incident. These guidelines are attached as part of the Bear Creek United Methodist Safe Sanctuary policy. 

In accordance with the laws of the State of Washington, and in conjunction with the PNW Conference, reporting to law enforcement agencies will be made if deemed necessary. 

Safe Sanctuaries | Reporting An Incident


NOTE: Reporting an incident must be a part of your congregations Safe Sanctuaries practice

  1. Determine if the allegation is serious or frivolous. In most cases, any allegation is considered to be serious unless you have strong reason to believe otherwise. Serious allegations involving the abuse, abandonment or neglect of a minor or vulnerable adult should be reported to authorities allowing them to do the investigation (please see #5). Other allegations should be reported to the pastor, event leader, or safety advocate (please see #4). 

  1. In the state of Washington, any person who has cause to believe that a child has suffered abuse or neglect should report such incidents (LINK). In Idaho, all people are mandatory reporters (LINK) when child abuse, abandonment or neglect is suspected. 

  2. Procedure for dealing with abuse (please also refer to full guidelines) 

  • Secure safety of child/youth if possible

  • IMMEDIATELY report incident to pastor, event leader, or safety advocate. 

  • Contact the following with the assistance of the pastor, event leader, or safety advocate: 

    • Child Protective Services/Law Enforcement (WA-1-866-363-4276; ID - 1-800-926- 2588) 

    • District Superintendent or Director of Connectional Ministries

    • Conference Staff relating to Insurance, camping or youth ministries

    • Family, as the situation merits

    • The Director of Connectional Ministries or their designate will serve as the liaison with the media. Please direct any media inquiries to this person. 

  • Document all efforts per step #5 and submit a copy to Conference Staff. 

  1. Procedure for dealing with other serious allegations of safe sanctuary violations. (please refer to full guidelines) 

  • Behaviors that hinder our mission, undermine leadership/program, and neglect safety should be taken seriously even when such behavior may not be 'illegal.' Reports should be directed to the pastor, event coordinator, or safety advocate. See guidelines re: anonymous reports. 

  • A resolution should be sought via direct or mediated conversation when possible, barring a situation with an egregious violation. 

  • If a resolution between parties is not possible, the event coordinator/pastor shall have the authority to proscribe a resolution. This may include a review of an individual's future involvement in ministries with vulnerable populations. 

  • Document all efforts per step #5 and submit a copy to Conference Staff for situations occurring at, or potentially impacting, camping or other conference events. 

  1. Document: In the case of all serious allegations, regardless of whether they require legal intervention, document all efforts in the handling of the incident using the form attached. In the case of an allegation that does not involve abuse, abandonment, neglect or other illegal behavior, you may leave the non-applicable fields blank in those situations. 

General Form for Reporting a Safe Sanctuaries Violation 

Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church

Name of person (paid or volunteer) observing or receiving disclosure of violation: ___________________________________________________________________________

Victim's name (if applicable): ____________________________________________________

Victim's age/date of birth: ____________________________________________

Date/place of initial conversation with/report from victim or witness: ___________________________________________________________________________

Name and Address of Person Responsible (for care, custody, or welfare of child/vulnerable adult - if applicable): ___________________________________________________________________________

Witness/Victim's statement (detailed summary): 








Name of Person Accused of Violation: ___________________________________________________________________________

Relationship of accused to victim (if applicable | paid staff, volunteer, family member, other): ___________________________________________________________________________

Reported to pastor/event leader/safety advocate: 

Date/Time: __________________________________________________________________

Spoke with: _________________________________________________________________

Summary of conversation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Reported to Pacific Northwest Conference Representative: 

Date/Time: __________________________________________________________________

Spoke with: _________________________________________________________________

Summary of conversation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Call to local children and family service agency: 

Date/Time: __________________________________________________________________

Spoke with: _________________________________________________________________

Summary of conversation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Call to local law enforcement agency: 

Date/Time: __________________________________________________________________

Spoke with: _________________________________________________________________

Summary of conversation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Call to victim's parent/guardian: 

Date/Time: __________________________________________________________________

Summary of conversation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other contacts: 

Date/Time: __________________________________________________________________

Spoke with: _________________________________________________________________

Summary of conversation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other contacts: 

Date/Time: __________________________________________________________________

Spoke with: _________________________________________________________________

Summary of conversation: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Social Media, Technology and the Internet

Under the auspices of the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Books of Discipline, all United Methodist faith communities are charged to create and employ church policies and procedures for the protection of children (birth -11 years), youth (twelve -18 years) and vulnerable adults (18+ years old with any mental, physical, situational or age-related condition that renders them vulnerable to the decisions and care of others). These Safe Sanctuaries policies and procedures are meant to reduce the risk of abuse to such persons within the community and the Church. 

Given the increased use of technology and social media in the life of the church and its individual members, faith communities and conferences have a responsibility to define social media policies that uphold the covenant to create Safe Sanctuaries for children, youth and vulnerable adults. To this end, the faith communities and pastors of the Pacific Northwest Conference affirm the following: 

We will utilize technology, the Internet and all social media tools to promote Christian community and the building up of authentic relationships. 

  • Facebook is a wonderful tool to use in Preschool, Children's and Youth Ministry. It is highly recommended that ministry groups establish their own "page" in order to communicate with community members, participants when appropriate, as well as their parents/legal guardians. 

  • Blogs allow adults and youth alike a place to express ideas, thoughts and opinions, and to allow others the opportunity to engage them through response. 

  • YouTube and other video websites have proved useful for sharing video clips from any number of faith community-related events, sharing original video produced to promote an upcoming event or idea, or sharing video produced by another individual or group that might be used by your ministry for conversation, worship, or reflection. 

  • Texting and Tweeting have proven effective means of communication for getting a message out quickly to one individual or to an entire group. 

We will protect the privacy and identity of all persons under 18 years of age and all vulnerable adults in online writings, postings and discussions. 

  • Adult employees and staff must not post photos or video that identify children, youth or vulnerable adults on any online site or printed publication without written consent from a parent or legal guardian. 

  • All Facebook groups associated with Preschools, Children's or Youth Ministry areas should be designated as "closed" groups, requiring all those who wish to gain access to be approved by the group's administrator(s). 

  • All faith community-related Facebook groups and pages must have at least two administrators. If an administrator is no longer associated with the ministry, that individual's administrative status must be revoked. 

  • Photos of minors may only be published or posted after a photo release has been signed by their parent/guardian. Photos used in other mediums, such as church newsletters, websites, blogs, twitpics, etc., must not include any identifying information of minors. 

  • Photos may only be posted to the Facebook page by page administrators. Adults (staff, volunteers, parents, etc.) should not identify minors in photographs posted online or in print. Individuals (including minors) are welcome to identify (i.e. "tag") themselves. 

  • When checking in on Foursquare, Facebook, or any location tagging social media, only "check in" yourself. Never check in minors. Be sensitive to tagging or revealing other participants' location without their expressed permission. Rather, create a hashtag to facilitate conversation. (See the Best Practices section of this document for more information on the use of hashtags.) 

  • In the case of clergy/professional staff and parishioner online connections, Friend Requests, Follow Requests, Circle Requests, etc. should be initiated by the parishioner, especially if the parishioner is a minor or vulnerable adult. This same principle should apply in connectional ministry settings like camps and retreats. 

We will maintain appropriate relational boundaries with minors. 

  • No adult shall initiate Facebook contact with or "friend" a minor or vulnerable adult. When accepting the "friend" requests of minors, care should be taken to respect the ministry and discipleship work of the local faith community to which they belong. Any conversations on Social Media with minors or vulnerable adults shall occur in open channels, or with multiple parties present in the conversation thread. 

  • When emailing, texting, tweeting, or Facebook messaging a minor, adults should copy another adult (ideally a parent or guardian) on the message, or post it in a public venue (i.e. a Facebook wall as opposed to a private message). This will allow adults to maintain the "two adults present" Safe Sanctuaries standard when using social media. Platforms promising discrete conversations and secrecy (SnapChat, Facebook Poke) should be avoided. 

  • Social media, even though it offers convenient and private channels, is not an appropriate medium for counseling - especially with minors. Begin or transition a pastoral conversation into an appropriate Safe Sanctuary model (i.e. office with windows, two adult rule abiding settings, etc.). 

We shall not engage in the creation, viewing or distribution of child pornography. 

  • Engaging in this behavior is a violation of civil laws, common Christian practice, and clergy ethics and can lead to incarceration, the revocation of clergy credentials and the termination of volunteer and paid positions in our ministries. 

We shall not engage in, encourage or condone cyber-bullying. 

  • Every children's ministry and youth ministry group, and adult volunteer training sessions should include in its teaching and ministry Code of Conduct a session on the types and consequences of cyber-bullying, including how to identify it and how to report it. 

  • To learn more about cyberbullying, visit: or various other websites. 

We shall educate young people and their families in the effective use of social media and technology to live out their Christian witness in what they write, post, share, and view. 

  • We all must understand, and teach to minors and vulnerable adults, that once something is posted on web, sent via email or sent via text, it is impossible to fully recover or erase it. There should be no expectation of privacy or reasonable expectation that the information stops with the person for whom it was intended. The promises of privacy offered by apps like SnapChat are illusionary. 

  • A good rule of thumb: If you don't want it posted on the church sign, website, or bulletin, do not text it or post it via social media. 



A Blog (short for web log) is a type of website or part of a website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Most blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites. Examples include:,, etc. 

As blogging software continues to mature, many now offer a reasonable, practical, and cost effective platform for faith communities who are looking for manageable solutions for their websites. Generally speaking, simplicity of use accompanies some rigidity in what a particular platform offers while more complexity typically also brings a corresponding flexibility. 


Facebook is a social networking service, website, and mobile application. Users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Facebook users must register before using the site. Users may join common- interest groups organized by workplace, school, or other characteristics. Facebook allows any users who declare themselves to be at least 13 years old to become registered users of the website.

Facebook also includes two other useful tools for faith communities. The Groups feature provides an avenue for correspondence and collaboration around a specific goal or project without requiring users to be 'friends.' 

The Pages platform should be of particular interest to faith communities looking to establish a social presence on the internet. A Facebook Page offers faith communities a nimble, and relatively easy to maintain, vehicle to create an social presence to reflect the character and values of your faith community. The presence of Pages in the results of the major search engines emphasis the importance of this avenue. 


Flickr and Instagram allow you to upload your photos onto the web. Vine allows you to do the same with short, six-second clips of video These can be easily shared with others directly by sending them a link via a social network or email, or by searching for content on particular themes or topics. Flickr is a popular platform with mobile and desktop users while Instagram is largely a mobile platform. Vine is owned by Twitter although it works on a variety of other platforms as well. A variety of competitors exist. | |


Google+ is a social network operated by Google, Inc. with integrations across a number of Google products, including Maps, Places, and Search. Its focus is on targeted sharing within subsets of your social group, which are called "Circles". Circles are small groups of people that you can share with, each with names like friends, family, classmates and co-workers. 

Google+ is treated by many as a second-rate Facebook by many but there may be some danger in overlooking the advantage of establishing and nurturing some foothold there given Google's dominance in the area of search. The integration of this network with their Google Places alone makes some attention to Google's network a must.


SnapChat is a popular application on smart phones which allows users to send photos, text via captions, and videos to friends. Unsurprisingly, the app is used widely by youth and young adults. SnapChat has also facilitated the growing sexting trend as users snaps are promised to delete after a few seconds. Several reports of security holes, including the ability to capture snaps with a screenshot, have called into question the promise of these claims. 

SnapChat could have some utility based on one's ministry setting but it's use in youth ministry is suspect given the conflicting values of privacy and accountability.


Pinterest is a fast growing social network which functions like an online pin board for ideas and images. The ability to use an existing Facebook or Twitter account to sign in to the service has helped new users to join in. Users on the site can upload original content, repin, like or comment on the content of others. 

On the network, one can find boards for a large variety of items. Some organizations are using the platform to share ideas and visuals of their work. Ministry professionals might use it to gather concepts or inspiration for worship design.


Tumblr is a website and microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, videos, links, quotes and audio to their tumblelog, a short-form blog. Users can follow other users, or choose to make their tumblelog private. It's use of tagging and avoidance of clear, personal relationships places the platform somewhere in between Twitter and Facebook in regards to utility and features. Tumblr was recently purchased by search giant Yahoo.


Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service (web service that allows the subscriber to broadcast short messages to other subscribers of the service) that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets."


YouTube is a video sharing website that allows you to upload and access videos from your computer or mobile device. Vimeo, like YouTube, is a video sharing website that allows you to upload and access videos from your computer or mobile device. Where YouTube offers more integration with other Google services, Vimeo offers a cleaner, easily customizable, interface. |

Social Media Policy for Staff working with Children and Youth

Bear Creek United Methodist Church committed to a child-centered approach in our work with children and youth (students). For this reason we aim to be positive role models in the lives of children and youth we connect with both in person and through social media. In regards to social media and connecting with students in relation to your work at Bear Creek United Methodist Church it is important to be aware of what you are posting and being intentional about keeping what you share with students clean - no alcohol, no drugs, no profanity etc. 

  1. First, you are by no means obliged to accept students as friends or followers on your social media accounts and are discouraged to do so where it is not in your best interests or in the best interests of the student. 

  2. If you wish to, staff members may accept students as friends on a Social Media platform if they send the request. Staff members should not request to be friends with students on social media. If the ministry develops a group, or other social platform for communicating with the youth, please seek parental consent before sending invitations to students. 

  3. Should staff wish to communicate with students, they should post their message in a public place if possible. 

  4. If staff are sent a private message by a student, if they use the 'chat' function to communicate with you or if you need to communicate through private messaging, staff should include a third person to adhere to Safe Sanctuary policies. staff can explain to students the reason for including this third person. ____________________ can act as your third person. 

  5. Staff should not post pictures with students to their personal Social Media Account. 

Bear Creek UMC has permission from parents to use photos of their students, therefore if you wish to tag yourself in pictures, you may do so. 

  1. Staff should be aware that, if you choose to accept students as friends, you are representing Bear Creek United Methodist Church on your personal Social Media account for as long as those students are friends with you. 

  2. If you have an existing relationship with a student where Bear Creek UMC is not the primary connection, you are exempt from procedures outlined in number 2 and 3. 

I understand Bear Creek United Methodist Church’s Social Media policies and agree to follow these procedures. 

Name: __________________________________________________________________

Signed: _________________________________________________________________

Date: ________________________________


For print, web, video, and all other media

I, the model/undersigned, do hereby consent and agree that The Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church, its employees, or agents have the right to photograph, videotape, or record audio of me to use in various media, now and hereafter known. 

Such use includes the display, distribution, publication, transmission, or otherwise use of photographs, video, images, or audio recordings of me for materials including, but not be limited to, printed materials such as brochures and newsletters, promotional videos, and digital images such as those on a web site. 

I further consent that my name and identity may be revealed therein or by descriptive text or commentary. 

I do hereby release to The Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church, its agents, and employees all rights to exhibit this work in electronic and print form publicly or privately and to market and sell copies. I waive any rights, claims, or interest I may have to control the use of my identity or likeness in whatever media used. 

I understand that there will be no financial or other remuneration for recording me, either for initial or subsequent transmission or playback. 

I also understand that The Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church is not responsible for any expense or liability incurred as a result of my participation in this recording, including medical expenses due to any sickness or injury incurred as a result. 

I have read and understand the foregoing statement, and am competent to execute this agreement. 

Model's Name ____________________________________________  Date ______________

Address ____________________________________________________________________

Model's Signature ____________________________________________________________

Phone _________________________________________

(If the person signing is under age 18, a parent or legal guardian must sign below.) 

I hereby certify that I am the parent or legal guardian of the model named above and I give my consent without reservation to the foregoing on behalf of him or her. 

Parent/Guardian Signature _____________________________________ Date __________

616 South 216th St. #2, Des Moines, WA 98198 | Mail to: P.O. Box 13650, Des Moines, WA 98198 1-800-755-7710 | FAX 1-206-870-6839 |