Safe Sanctuaries

Safe Sanctuaries

Safe Sanctuaries is the name commonly given by local United Methodist Annual Conferences and local churches to their individual efforts to make conference, district, and local church programs welcoming and safe for children, youth and vulnerable adults.

This portion of our website links to helpful resources to assist local churches in making their ministries Safe Sanctuary compliant. Look over at the left margin to see the topics provided.

The Annual Conference Safe Sanctuaries Team developed a policy to establish minimum procedural requirements for the safety and protection of children, youth and vulnerable adults. This policy was presented and approved at the Annual Conference session in June 2007. These are the mandatory standards that all churches within the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church must be in compliance with by June 30, 2008.

We encourage local churches and districts to develop their own procedures to make their ministries Safe Sanctuary compliant. The local church policy must adhere to the mandatory standards established with the Kentucky Conference policy. The policies and practices will ensure we are protecting children, youth and vulnerable adults; protecting the adult workers who serve in these ministries; and protecting the various assets of the church for making disciples of Jesus Christ.

The Kentucky Conference staff of the Office of Connectional Ministries are able to assist you at no cost to your local church. The office number is (800) 530-7236 and ask for Tina Patterson, Administrative and Ministry Assistant of Connectional Ministries or contact by email

For additional help in crafting Safe Sanctuaries Procedures for your local church we highly recommend Safe Sanctuaries, Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the Church, by Joy Thornburg Melton. It is one of several books by Joy Thornburg Melton available through The Upper Room and Cokesbury.

Inclusiveness and Hospitality

Our faith calls us to offer hospitality and protection to all children and youth as well as to those who are committed to ministry with them as volunteers and employees. True hospitality means that we are to be inclusive of all children and youth. This process is constantly changing and evolving. Currently, there are a few considerations that we have found useful in making decisions around hospitality and LGBTQ youth.

DOWNLOAD Safe Sanctuaries: Inclusiveness and Hospitality [PDF]