St. Paul’s United Church of Christ

Trexlertown, PA




  1. Policy Prohibiting Abuse, Exploitation and Harassment

    As a community of Christian faith, St. Paul’s UCC is committed to creating and maintaining programs, facilities and a community in which members, friends, staff and volunteers can worship, learn and work together in an atmosphere free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, exploitation or intimidation. All persons associated with St. Paul’s UCC should be aware that the church is strongly opposed to Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Harassment and that such behavior is prohibited by church policy. It is the intention and responsibility of the church to take whatever action may be needed to prevent and correct behavior that is contrary to this policy and, if necessary, to discipline those persons who violate this policy. The St. Paul’s Sexual Harassment Policy should be the basis for corrective measures when and if situation arise.


  2. Ministerial Conduct

    The pastor, every employee, elected and appointed lay leaders, and every volunteer are all Ministers of the congregation. As such, each is responsible for understanding the ways in which their words or actions may affect others.

    Sexual Exploitation or Sexual Harassment, of parishioners or others, by anyone engaged in the ministry of St. Paul’s UCC is unethical and unprofessional behavior and will not be tolerated within this congregation.

    All Ministers of the church (as defined below) may sometimes deal with individuals who are emotionally or personally vulnerable in some way. It is also important that every Minister of the church be adequately prepared and educated for the ministry in which they serve others, and to understand the ways in which their actions may impact those who may be vulnerable to their use or misuse of power.

    It is the policy of St. Paul’s UCC to encourage its Ministers and Authorized Ministers, to nurture safety within Ministerial Relationships by being attentive to self- care, education, and the importance of referring those in need to supportive and helpful resources. It is also expected that those engaged in providing ministry will complete and submit an application and disclosure document.


  3. Child and Youth Protection Policy

    St. Paul’s UCC is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment in which young people can learn about and experience God’s love.

    In order to ensure this, we have established the following guidelines.

    • We expect that those who volunteer to work with minors will have been members of St. Paul’s UCC for at least six (6) months, or if not members, regularly and frequently associated with St. Paul’s UCC for at least one (1) year.
    • It is the policy of this church to provide adequate supervision and safeguards for all youth activities. In any situations where participants are not readily visible to other church members, there will not be fewer than two (2) unrelated adults present with children. Youth over the age of eleven (11) may assist an unrelated adult; however, this assistance does not change the requirement that at least two (2) unrelated adults must be present.
    • All volunteers who work with children and youth will complete and submit a disclosure document in a form substantially similar to the sample accompanying this policy.
    • All volunteers and employees who work with children and youth will receive orientation to the overall policy.
    • Written consent of one (1) parent or guardian will be required for all activities off the church property, and any overnight activities.


  4. Requirements for Ministry
    • Before an offer of employment is made to any individual (whether ordained, commissioned, licensed or other lay person), a comprehensive background check including a criminal records check, may be completed. Suggested scope of check to include the counties of residence and counties of work over the past seven (7) years.
    • All Ministers of the church will complete an application/disclosure form before beginning their duties.
    • The Pastor of the church will conduct a review of the registered sex offender registry for each new Minister and Authorized Minister, employee, or volunteer; by search their name on the Department of Justice website at The registered sex offender registry will be reviewed on a quarterly basis for all Ministers and Authorized Ministers.
    • Authorized Ministers of the church will attend all boundary workshops suggested or required by PNEC or will attend at least one workshop each three (3) years, whichever is more frequent.


  5. Definitions
    • Minister: a person engaged by the church to carry out its ministry. Minister includes elected or appointed leaders of the church, employees, and volunteers, as well as authorized ministers.


    • Authorized Minister: a person who holds ordained ministerial standing or has been commissioned or licensed by an association of the United Church of Christ.


    • Ministerial Relationship: the relationship between one who carries out the ministry of the church and the one being served by that ministry.


    • Sexual Exploitation: sexual activity or contact (not limited to sexual intercourse) in which a minister engaged in the work of the church takes advantage of the vulnerability of a participant by causing or allowing the participant to engage in sexual behavior with the minister.


    • Sexual Harassment: repeated or coercive sexual advances toward another person contrary to his or her wishes. It includes behavior directed at another person with the intent of intimidating, humiliating, or embarrassing the other person, or subjecting the person to public discrimination. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when:
      • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition or circumstance of instruction, employment, or participation in any church activity; Submission to, or rejection of, such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for evaluation in making personnel or church-related decisions affecting an individual; or
      • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s performance or participation in church activities or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or church environment.


    • Prohibited sexual harassment includes unsolicited and unwelcome contact that has sexual overtones, particularly:
      • Written contact, such as sexually suggestive or obscene letter, notes, e-mails, or invitations;
      • Verbal contact, such as sexually suggestive or obscene comments, threats, slurs, epithets, jokes about gender-specific traits, sexual propositions;
      • Physical contact, such as intentional touching, pinching, brushing against another’s body, impeding or blocking movement, assault, coercing sexual intercourse; and
      • Visual contact, such as leering or staring at another’s body, gesturing, displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons, posters, or magazines.


    • Sexual harassment also includes continuing to express sexual interest after being informed directly that the interest is unwelcome and using sexual behavior to control, influence, or affect the career, salary, work, learning, or worship environment of another. It is impermissible to suggest, threaten, or imply that failure to accept a request for a date or sexual intimacy will affect a person’s job prospects, church leadership, or comfortable participation in the life of the church. It is forbidden either to imply or actually withhold support for an appointment, promotion, or change of assignment, to suggest that a poor performance report will be given because a person has declined a personal proposition; or to hint that benefits, such as promotions, favorable performance evaluations, favorable assigned duties or shifts, recommendations, or reclassifications, will be forthcoming in exchange for sexual favors.
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