The Safe Congregations Task Force is committed to the safety and well-being of the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg community and its visitors to UCH worship and programming. It includes the RGL Head Coordinator, members of the RGL Steering Committee, and attendees from both campuses.
We recognize that preventing sexual misconduct, physical abuse and harassment in our church community and in society is complex, and that providing a safe space and building is a congregational effort. Prevention, education, training, careful hiring, and safety procedures are concrete steps toward creating a safer environment for all concerned. The task force is currently working on a comprehensive policy.
The members of the Safe Congregations Task Force are: Sara Palmer, Windsor "Tony" Morgan, Joslyn Kirby, Wanda Abou El Nagga, Amy Firestine, Mary Lynn Fecile and Youth member, Jacob Warneka.
PHOTO: Front L to R: Amy Firestine, Jacob Warneka, Sara Palmer and Wanda Abou El Nagga.
Back L to R: Mary Lynn Fecile and Tony Morgan. Missing: Joslyn Kirby
From the charter of the Safe Congregations Task Force:
For the safety and well-being of both campuses of the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg community and its visitors, the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg Safe Congregations Task Force commits to:
- Hold the first two Unitarian Universalist Principles as our guiding sense in this essential and meaningful goal to create a comprehensive Safe Congregations policy. They are: a) The inherent worth and dignity of every person, and b) Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
- Recognize that no policy, no matter how well constructed can provide absolute confidence to protect the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg community and its visitors; but to execute to the best of our ability a Safety Policy that sets standards for how we conduct ourselves within our congregational community and how we deal with behavior that risks harm or does harm to self or another.
- To educate ourselves regarding "Best Practices" for Safe Congregations policy, to educate the congregation about Safe Congregations issues, and to be transparent and communicative about our process.
- To develop policies that include a myriad of issues, outlined but not limited to:
- Hiring processes for all UCH employees, and those volunteers who work with children and youth
- Guidelines for Religious Education classes at UCH and providing child care for UCH events
- Guidelines for field trips that include children and youth
- Responding to disruptive and threatening behaviors
- Building emergency evacuation plans
- A complaint process
- A locked record-keeping procedure
- The assigning of a Board-appointed ongoing Safety Group that will be available to address issues and complaints as they arise, and to assure the congregation does not become complacent about issues of safety.