Safe Church During COVID?

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I've been thinking about what the role of Safe Church is during COVID. We will begin meeting outside in 2 weeks for worship service, but will not start other in person ministries for some time yet. Our county still has very high numbers of COVID cases. During this time, while we are not meeting in person, what are things we can, or should be doing? I've thought about submitting short information pieces to our weekly online bulletin, like signs of child abuse or neglect, signs of domestic violence, etc. 

Does anyone have other ideas or things you have done for Safe Church ministry during COVID? 

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Good question Marilyn.  I would be very interested in hearing what other church are doing regarding Safe Church.  One area that I have be focusing on is online safety.  Many of our ministries have been using the Zoom app for connecting with children, youth, small groups, Friendship ministry, etc. Our whole VBS program was online. Creating policies like... getting parental consent for children using Zoom; ministry leaders not leaving an online chat unattended;  not recording or taking screenshots without the written permission of everyone attending; keeping online communication ministry focused and not personal, etc.  I have been looking at what our local schools have been doing regarding online learning and tailoring it to our church's needs. This is still a work in progress, but I think it is an important addition to any Safe Church policy considering our circumstances. 

Community Builder

That's a great question, so glad that you are thinking about children and youth who are especially vulnerable during this time. The CRC has this site for covid-related resources. Safe Church has also posted articles with links to additional resources - This one with resources for social media policies; this one, are you and your church safe online; and this about a darker side of covid.And a new article will be coming to The Network soon on this very topic, as many churches are heading into a new fall season. Stay tuned, and keep asking these good questions.

Guide

Hi Marilyn, thanks for bringing this question to the Network! We just posted this article, titled: Safe Church amid COVID-19: Resources for Youth Ministry, Social Media, and Online Streaming. I hope it is helpful. It does not go deep into all of the things that a Safe Church Team could be doing, but hopefully allows many to see a variety of needs - and some items a Safe Church Team could be doing amid COVID-19.

Also, Abuse Awareness Sunday is just around the corner on September 27th - you can see some abuse awareness resources on our website here, and this year we have highlighted Power as a topic to learn more about - you can view the bulletin insert here.

Thanks for all you are doing in your church!