Safe Sanctuary Program

Wards Chapel United Methodist Church

Safe Sanctuaries is more than guidelines, policies and procedures implemented to create an environment in which children, youths and the adults who work with them have boundaries of safe space. Safe Sanctuaries is an overt expression of a faith community in making a congregation a safe place where children, youths, seniors and vulnerable adults may experience the abiding love of God and fellowship within the community of faith. God calls us to make our churches safe places, protecting children and other vulnerable persons from abuse. We are also called to make off-site venues or activities such as Volunteer-in-Mission trips and retreats as safe as possible.

            Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. And he took the children in his arms and blessed them.”  Mark 10: 13-16.

              We, as the church are called to follow Christ’s example and welcome the child. This provides not only a blessing for the child but also for us as the Kingdom of God breaks into our lives. Since its inception the church has also been seen as a sanctuary, a haven of safety, for all those who seek it out. The storms of life should break upon our walls.

             It is our responsibility in a changing world, with dangers pervading our society, to provide a safe and secure environment for those who come here. This is especially true for children, who lack the ability to provide much protection for themselves from these dangers and therefore must rely upon others. Our goal is to provide and maintain a safe, secure, loving place where children may grow and where those who care for them may minister appropriately to the need of children.

If you would like to read Wards Chapel's Safe Sanctuary Policy or you need any more information about the Safe Sanctuary Program at Wards Chapel please contact Ray Ostrander by email at