3.2 Drugs & Alcohol
3.3 Sexual Harassment
3.4 Violent Behavior
For the health of all who attend or visit Faith Community United Methodist Church, the entire facility is considered a smoke-free environment. No smoking is allowed inside the building or outside next to the building (where fresh-air intake vents may be located).
Optional: The designated smoking area on the grounds is AREA WHERE SMOKING IS ALLOWED. Smokers are asked to keep the area clean and free of smoking debris.
Optional: If you smoke but desire to quit, the church will pay _____ percent of the cost of a legitimate stop-smoking program or practitioner up to a lifetime expense of $ _____. See NAME OF STAFF MEMBER for information about local stop-smoking programs.
3.2 DRUGS & ALCOHOL
It would seem to be common sense that a church environment is not the place for any kind of consumption of alcohol or controlled substances. So why do we need a policy?
The goal of Faith Community United Methodist’s guideline regarding drugs and alcohol is to protect and help two individuals: (1) the volunteer, and (2) the individuals the volunteer serves. Of course, this general guideline can’t cover every possible circumstance.
All cases involving alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or related problems will be handled discretely and confidentially.
- All volunteers are unequivocally prohibited from manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing, or using controlled substances. Any volunteer violating this guideline is subject to discipline, including termination.
- Alcohol abuse is equally serious in nature because of the danger it can pose to both the drinker and to others. Thus, any volunteer who is convicted of driving while intoxicated/driving under the influence (DWI/DUI) or of violating a criminal drug statute must inform the church within five days. The church may take various actions after such a conviction, depending on the nature of the volunteer’s ministry, and the individual’s desire to battle and overcome the drug problem.
- Out of a spirit of Christ-centered love for all people, including those who volunteer at the church, the church will work to help those who have a desire to combat their struggles with drug or alcohol abuse problems. This may include information provided during volunteer training regarding the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, the church may offer (or refer volunteer to seek) the following rehabilitative assistance: Substance & alcohol abuse treatment programs and centers; community resources for assessment and treatment; counseling programs.
- While moderate consumption of alcohol might not seem to be a problem, it is not allowed on church grounds at any time.
3.3 SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Faith Community United Methodist Church is committed to providing an environment free of sexual harassment, as well as harassment based on factors such as race, physical or mental disability, marital status, age, and sex. We disapprove of any such harassment and will not tolerate it on the part of staff, volunteers, children, or youth in ministry programs.
Harassment includes verbal, physical, and visual conduct that creates an offensive or hostile environment. Such conduct constitutes harassment when:Submission to the conduct is a stated or implied condition for continued employment or ministry involvement.
— Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as the basis for an employment or volunteer position.
— The harassment interferes with work or volunteer performance or creates an offensive, intimidating work environment.
— Threatening reprisals result after a negative response to sexual advances.
Prohibited unlawful harassment includes, but is not limited to:
— Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory jokes or comments, slurs or unwanted sexual advances, or comments.
— Visual conduct such as derogatory and or sexually oriented posters, photography, cartoons, drawings, or gestures.
— Physical conduct such as assault, unwanted touching, bra snapping.
— Threats and demands to submit to sexual requests.
— Retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment.
If at any time you feel harassed at church or at a church-sponsored event, report the incident in writing immediately to the staff member you feel most comfortable reporting to. If the accusation concerns this person, report it to another person as well. Every reported complaint will be investigated thoroughly, promptly, and in a confidential manner.
If the investigation establishes harassment, the violator of this policy will be disciplined. Discipline can range from verbal or written warnings, a meeting with a pastor and a governing board member, or termination, depending upon the circumstances.
3.4 VIOLENT BEHAVIOR
Faith Community United Methodist Church has an absolutely zero tolerance for violence. This includes even talking or joking about violence.
If a volunteer threatens or displays violence, he or she will be subject to immediate disciplinary action, including verbal or written warnings, a meeting with a pastor or church governing board member, or termination, depending upon the circumstances. In addition, the volunteer may be subject to criminal proceedings, as appropriate.
What is violence? Like many other areas, there’s no way to anticipate every possible situation concerning violence. However, it generally includes physically or verbally harming another, including things like pushing, shoving, coercion, or intimidation. The church reserves the right to broaden this definition based on actual incidents or additional information.
In addition, no weapons are ever allowed on church property.
Thankfully, while instances of violent behavior are rare, volunteers can help prevent violence by reporting any incidents to your supervisor or leaders of the church that could hint a fellow volunteer (or someone your church serves) is in trouble. The church will investigate all such reports.
Volunteers will, to the best of their ability, ensure confidentiality and privacy when it comes to the history, records, and conversations about the people Faith Community United Methodist Church serves.
The best advice regarding the release of information about the people you serve is don’t! This is true whether you’re simply talking to a friend or family member or to a member of the news media. If anyone requests information from you, your wisest answer is, “Church policy doesn’t allow me to give out that information.” If someone continues to question you for information, suggest that he or she talk to your team leader or inquire at the church office.
Confidentiality cannot be maintained for conversations and information related to bodily harm – either to oneself (“cutting,” suicide, etc.) or others (verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse). These must be reported directly to the senior pastor immediately so that he/she might begin to care for the person by making the appropriate contacts.
The only other exceptions to this policy are described below; generally, these exceptions relate to legal information and fulfillment of the church’s ministry and mission. Again, these exceptions are provided more for your information. Rather than determining if a valid reason exists for releasing information, you should refer the request to your team leader who will either determine the validity of the request or seek additional advice about whether the request is legitimate.
- No information requested by an individual outside the church will be provided over the telephone or via email. Again, volunteers should reply, “Church policy doesn’t permit me to provide that information.” Refer the request to your team leader.
- Release-of-information forms should be explained and completed in the presence of the person whose information may be released—before it is released.
- Any release of information or inspection of records must be specifically authorized by both the Senior Pastor and the chair of the church governing board. Even in these cases, there should be no taking of notes, photocopying, or removal of records from the church property.
- Volunteers agree not to discuss any individual’s circumstances or records with unauthorized individuals, whether you’re in the process of serving or not. You may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that you agree to and understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality about the individuals the church serves. This form is 7.18.