Boundaries are the understandings that help to provide safe spaces for ministry. Of particular importance are boundaries related to professional ethics, finances, and the prevention of sexual misconduct. The Southwestern Texas Synod is committed to helping rostered ministers set and maintain appropriate boundaries for ministry, and for responding promptly and appropriately to complaints of boundary violations.
Contact Bishop Associate Rev. Dr. Judith Spindt about sexual misconduct and professional ethics. All rostered ministers are required to take a Basic Boundary Workshop and to participate in additional training every three years. Annual boundary training, information, and resources will be shared via eNews and on this webpage.
The Southwestern Texas Synod is committed to ensuring that we provide safe places of worship and fellowship to everyone we serve. As part of that commitment, we are providing information on Safe Gatherings as a resource for you in this important area.
Safe Gatherings is an online abuse prevention program that screens and educates staff and volunteers to help prevent abuse of children, youth, and vulnerable adults in group settings. When employees and volunteers are trained to identify potential abusers, recognize the signs of abuse, and know how to handle reporting, they are better equipped to prevent abuse.
Upon successful completion of the Safe Gatherings application, background and reference checks, and online training program, each applicant will receive documentation of approval valid for three years and will have continued access to the online training program for one year.
The current price per applicant for the individual church program available through the Safe Gatherings website is $37. This includes processing of two electronic references, a national and county of residence 7-year background check, national and state of residence Sex Offender Registry check, and the 1.5-hour online abuse prevention and boundary awareness training. There is also an option to complete a driving record if the individual will be driving as part of their ministry. The cost for the driving record will vary depending upon the state the license was issued.
Start the process:
Click to access the Safe Gatherings system and complete the online application. Individuals can log in to their account at any time to check the status of their application.
All churches in the synod are already set up in Safe Gatherings. Applicants must correctly choose the denomination, state, and city where your church is located, and the church will display in a drop-down menu as you begin the application process.
CongregationU provides more than 40 online courses on practical topics relevant to your church or faith-based organization. Topics include human resources, security and safety, risk management, health and wellness, and more. Several courses are also available in Spanish.
Rooftop pricing enables your church or organization to cost-effectively train everyone in your congregation, including leaders, volunteers and members. Pricing is based on average weekly attendance. This option provides unlimited uses of each of the courses included in the rooftop package. You will also receive a 20% discount on the purchase of this package.
Click here to set up an account and purchase training courses.
Contact the CongregationU team at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866)862-5855 for additional information or with questions.
Contact Deacon Darcy Mittelstaedt for additional information or with questions about the program.