A Safe Sanctuaries Policy is required for every congregation in the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey. If your church has any questions about its Safe Sanctuaries policy, or needs to fully adopt one, go to www.gnjumc.org/safe-sanctuaries.
While Rev. Erica Munoz, who is the pastor at Aldersgate UMC in East Brunswick, is still the coordinator for Safe Sanctuaries, the primary way to have questions answered about that topic will be to go to the website and then secondly, call your district office. “Right now we hope that a local church would call their district office if they have any questions about Safe Sanctuaries,” Munoz said. “Everything about our policy is remaining the same, it’s just that if a policy needs to be certified, or if there are any other questions, churches can just call their district office.”
Each of the districts will also have a Safe Sanctuaries regional coordinator. The regional coordinators and their contact information are Andrea Osborne for Skylands, Palisades and Gateway North; Rev. Kathleen Stolz for Raritan Valley, Capital and Northern Shore and Pastor Debbie Barnett for Gateway South, Delaware Bay and Cape Atlantic.
Munoz emphasized that if a church already has a Safe Sanctuaries policy that has been approved, that it is not required to do anything. However, if a church does not have Safe Sanctuaries policy, it needs to adopt one as soon as possible. “If they do have a policy, they should let people know about it and celebrate it,” Munoz said. “If they do not have a policy they need to contact their district office for support.”
GNJ approved its Safe Sanctuaries policy in June of 2005 with the purpose of reducing the risk of abuse in ministry with children, youth or vulnerable adults.