Safe Church Policies Applied to CRC Employees

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The Board of Trustees decided at its September 2011 meeting that allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse on the part of an employee of the Christian Reformed Church or any of its agencies will be referred to that person’s church council to be dealt with under the denomination’s guidelines for handling allegations of abuse.

Those guidelines include convening an advisory panel to conduct hearings and make recommendations regarding the probability and seriousness of the allegations.

The decision also states that the advisory panel will include as an observer a representative of the denomination and that the executive director will receive a written report on the panel process and recommendations made.

For cases in which an employee of the denomination is not a member of the CRC, a hybrid policy is being developed to ensure an objective panel hearing.

The code of conduct signed by denominational employees will be revised to reflect those decisions.

The board also decided that applicants whose background check includes criminal convictions for violent crimes, sexual crimes, or crimes against a child will not be considered for employment unless an exception is granted by the executive director in consultation with legal counsel.

In other actions, the Board to Trustees

  • ratified the appointment of Bonnie Nicholas as director of the Safe Church ministry;
  • decided that the Canadian delegates to the board will meet separately for an hour at the February 2012 meeting to discuss ministries within Canada;
  • heard an update on the work of the Task Force Reviewing Structure and Culture of the denomination’s administration
  • heard that ministry share receipts for the fiscal year just ended came in nearly 5 percent over budget.

About the Author

Gayla Postma retired as news editor for The Banner in 2020.

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