What should you do if you are accused of misconduct of a sexual nature?
1. Understand Church Process and Roles
Laypersons are accountable to their pastor or staff-parish relations committee in the local church. Clergy are accountable to their district superintendent and bishop. These persons are entrusted to ensure a fair and just process for all concerned and CANNOT also be in the role of your support person or pastor during this process. Do not burden the person entrusted with maintaining the process with information that you desire to remain confidential. This presents the person in charge with a conflict of interests, and often the result is that confidence cannot be maintained.
2. Find a Support Person
Your local church or conference should provide you with names of possible support persons to help you through the process. The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women can also provide phone support and help you find a local support person.
3. Explore a Variety of Resources
Associates in Advocacy provides an extended narrative of advice on church law, your rights as clergy, and what to say (or NOT to say) when your district superintendent or bishops calls to discuss a complaint against you. In cases involving criminal allegations, it is your responsiblity to find appropriate legal counsel.