Annual Conference Policies
"It’s not enough to have policies; they must be clearly and consistently understood. Churches should have current computer use and data retention policies and REGULARLY inform staff of the church’s expectations with respect to these policies." Becky Posey Williams Senior Director for Sexual Ethics, GCSRW
Each annual conference in The United Methodist Church must create its own policies regarding misconduct within ministerial relationships, within the guidelines and procedures found in The Book of Discipline. A policy outlines specific conduct or behavior that is inappropriate, while procedures describe the processes by which a concern or complaint should be handled. It is advisable to write separate documents for procedures (not to include them in a policy document).
There are many kinds of policies. Conferences should consider at least the following Guidelines:
Developing a Policy
Policy pertaining to employees, volunteers, clergy (retired and active), as well as <strong>LAITY</strong> in ministerial roles of leadership, regarding sexual misconduct (including sexual/gender harassment and sexual abuse)
Read guidelines developed by the General Council on Finance and Administration and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Also, links below provide a POLICY CHECKLIST for local churches illustrating these guidelines as well as a SAMPLE POLICY.
Statute of Limitations
The Book of Discipline | paragraph 2702.4
Statute of Limitations: No judicial complaint or charge shall be considered for any alleged occurrence that shall not have been committed within six years immediately preceding the filing of the original complaint, except in the case of sexual or child abuse and in the case of immorality or crime, when the alleged occurrence(s) include allegations of sexual abuse or child abuse, there shall be no limitation (¶2702.4)