Policy: It is the policy of the Apostolic Faith organization to protect the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of all individuals who attend or participate in services and events in our churches.
Purpose: It is our purpose to provide guidelines which establish safe practices for those who represent this organization. We also do our best to encourage godliness and integrity in all relationships, and to promote accountability by workers.
Administration: Safety is an attitude that begins with individuals showing Biblical respect, care, and concern for others. The pastor is responsible to work with the local safety team to implement organizational policies and procedures designed to protect the safety and security of church workers and attendees.
Those who serve as representatives of the Apostolic Faith work enter into special relationships of trust with the individuals they serve. Therefore, those who participate in any capacity in this organization must undergo a careful screening and selection process. This process helps us to ensure that candidates are both spiritually qualified and otherwise suited for roles within the church.
Screening and Selection:
Prospective workers are invited to participate by the appropriate department supervisor or appointed representative of the organization on a case-by-case basis, after approval by the pastor. All prospective workers are required to:
In addition, we recommend that all church workers who interact with minors in a ministry role read the document “What You Can Do About Child Abuse,” published by the Oregon Department of Human Services, publication #DHS 9061. It is available at https://apps.state.or.us/Forms/Served/de9061.pdf.
Anyone who has been convicted of child abuse will not be allowed to work with children. Allegations of abuse or other criminal offenses may also disqualify an individual from serving in the Apostolic Faith organization.
Prospective workers must be informed when they are invited to participate or submit their Worker Application (or Youth Worker Application) that their certification as a church worker is limited in duration and includes an expiration date. At that time they will be required to complete any additional training and re-evaluation procedures designated by the Apostolic Faith organization in order to be recertified and continue serving in the designated capacity.
The Apostolic Faith organization reserves the right to immediately dismiss any volunteer or employee who is accused of violating the Apostolic Faith Church policies.
The following items must be kept in the local church files:
These two items must be sent to headquarters:
Those who serve in any capacity in the Apostolic Faith Church are representatives of this organization. For that reason, acceptance of this privilege entails certain responsibilities.
Workers must be able to point back to a genuine experience of salvation, and be living by the Biblical standards of integrity and morality. They should uphold the doctrines of the Bible as taught by this organization, and adhere to the procedures, policies, and guidelines of the Apostolic Faith work.
Staff and volunteers are expected to act ethically, in accordance with legal criteria, and in a professional and courteous manner. They are expected to exemplify Christ-like behavior and avoid all appearance of wrongdoing. As the church’s public relations people in the community, their lives and conduct should consistently honor Christ.
In all interactions, workers should strive to respect and uplift one another, working together as a team within the scope of their assignments. Their purpose should be to promote goodwill and unity in the congregation, regarding the spiritual interest and welfare of the church family as their joint concern and responsibility.
To ensure orderly operation and provide the best possible church environment, staff and volunteers are also asked to:
Attendance and Absence Protocol:
Even though most of those who serve in the work of the church are volunteers, all participants should be encouraged to remember they have made a commitment and to take their responsibilities seriously.
Naturally, some absences are expected. Many of those who take part are employed, are raising families, or have other commitments that may occasionally conflict with their church privileges. At times, they may be ill or be called out of town for business or personal reasons.
Workers who know in advance that they will not be able to serve during a scheduled time should contact their ministry supervisor as soon as possible. Otherwise, the assumption is that they will report punctually and be ready to assume their responsibilities at the designated starting time.
The Apostolic Faith organization is committed to maintaining an environment and a procedural protocol in our churches that will protect the health and wellness of our staff and volunteers, as well as those who attend our services.
Apostolic Faith Church staff and volunteers are expected to:
Food Handling Guidelines
Those who prepare or serve food at church events or activities are asked to do the following:
Apostolic Faith Churches are expected to:
The Apostolic Faith organization maintains a code of confidentiality of information. Church workers are expected to make every effort to respect the privacy of congregation members, and take care to avoid inappropriate disclosures of information. With that goal in view, staff members and volunteers are instructed to:
The one exception to maintaining confidentiality relates to child abuse reporting. [See the section of this manual titled Abuse Prevention and Reporting for more information on this topic.]
Church photographers and writers frequently take pictures and produce articles or written descriptions of worship services, Sunday school, youth group activities, Vacation Bible School, mission trips, etc. These pictures and articles record, promote, and celebrate our church ministries through many different venues including the church website, printed publications, and media presentations. Individuals who prefer not to have their photos and/or names published may express that preference by submitting a Media Opt-Out Form to the pastor or head usher. That form is available on the safety page of the church website.
The internet and social media are evolving tools which offer promise for developing and expanding ministries, but they also pose significant safety challenges. Healthy boundaries and safe practices between church workers and other individuals must be adhered to in digital communication, just as they are in face-to-face communication.
Special care must be taken when internet exchanges involve minors. In general, all electronic communications from staff and volunteers of the Apostolic Faith organization to minors must be appropriate in nature, limited in frequency, and give no cause for concern or embarrassment if reviewed by the pastor, the staff member’s ministry supervisor, or the youth’s parent/guardian.
All workers should be aware that communication through digital means (email, social networking posts, texts, tweets, etc.) is not confidential and may be reported or shared with others.
Church-sponsored sites: Any group, page, or list-serve that has been created by an authorized member of the Apostolic Faith organization for the purpose of establishing, maintaining, or growing ministries of the church.
Inappropriate content: Refers not only to content that is improper or offensive, but also to content that might be appropriate to the medium but not to the relationship—for example, details about personal life, political commentary, etc.
Adult-to-Minor Online Relationships
Adult-to-Adult Online Relationships
Social Networking Groups Involving Youth
Apostolic Faith Church workers are expected to comply with all copyright laws, so it is important for church leaders to be aware of copyright regulations, and to ensure that staff and volunteers are not guilty of copyright infringement.
A copyright gives the creator or owner of an original work the sole right to decide how their work may be reproduced, distributed, performed, displayed, or adapted. Often, the owner of the copyright is the creator of the work. However, at times the owner is a publisher or organization that has been assigned the legal rights. This impacts churches because the law applies to pieces of music that would typically be presented in a church setting. It also applies to literary or dramatic works that might be used in various programs, and to videos or recordings of presentations done in the church which include copyrighted material.
There are two primary areas where vigilance must be exercised: reproduction rights (copying of music), and performance rights (singing or playing copyrighted music in public). The fact that violations sometimes occur unknowingly is not a legal defense. Musicians and others who use copyrighted works in the church must be both knowledgeable about the law and in full compliance with it.
Identifying Copyrighted Material
The holder of a copyright can often be identified by looking for the copyright notice, which will consist of the word Copyright (or the symbol ©) followed by a year and the name of the copyright owner. However, the absence of this information does not necessarily indicate that no copyright exists. The piece may be part of a collection in which the copyright is notated elsewhere in the publication.
Material not protected by copyright is considered part of the “public domain,” a category that also covers works whose copyright has expired. Materials published before 1923 in the United States are in the public domain unless the copyright was renewed, so such materials can legally be copied, adapted, and performed without permission.
Obtaining Permission for Use
Permission to use copyrighted materials can be obtained in several ways. A representative of the church may write directly to the holder of the copyright and ask permission. Another option is to use a service such as the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com, which allows applicants to request permission for several pieces at one time.
Proposed use of copyrighted materials must fall within the category of acceptable use. Musicians should carefully read the labels and notices on published materials to see what they can and cannot do without permission from the copyright owner. When uncertain as to whether a proposed use of a piece of music is allowable, they should make inquiries. For example, permission for use should be requested from the publisher if the intent is to:
The fact that a publication or piece of music is out of print does not mean that it can be freely copied without permission. “Out of print” simply means that printed copies of the publication are no longer available for purchase from the publisher. The piece itself may still be protected by copyright.
A limited exemption in copyright law allows for the playing or singing of religious music during church services without permission from the copyright owner, so long as the work is performed in the course of services and at a place of worship. This exemption does not apply to services broadcast over radio, television, or the internet, nor does it cover performances given in a social or entertainment context rather than as part of a religious service.
The Apostolic Faith Church in Portland uses a licensing service, Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI). The church pays a set amount for licensing each year and is then permitted to use all works for which CCLI has obtained rights. The contract allows the church to use most songs in PowerPoint presentations, projected visuals, congregational song sheets, and church bulletins for Sunday school, church-sponsored retreats, and church services. However, the CCLI license does not grant the right to photocopy or duplicate any choral music, cantatas, musicals, keyboard arrangements, vocal solos, or instrumental works; it grants duplicating rights for congregational music only.
In order to webcast church services legally, the Portland church has obtained a web license. Musicians and congregation members should be aware that putting copyrighted music on YouTube is not legal without permission.
In conclusion, a good guideline regarding copyright is this: Before copying, changing, recording, duplicating, reproducing, or presenting someone else’s original work, get permission from the copyright holder.
Other Copyright Considerations
In addition to the reproduction and presentation of music, there are other areas where care must be taken to abide by copyright law. Ministers must be cautious about including quotes in sermons. If a comment authored by another individual is used verbatim, care should be taken to credit the source.
The Apostolic Faith Church is committed to maintaining an environment in which staff and volunteers, church members, and visitors can work and worship together in an atmosphere free of discrimination, harassment, exploitation, intimidation, or other types of misconduct (see definitions provided under the next heading). It is the intention of our organization to respond to allegations concerning behavior by staff or volunteers that is contrary to this policy and, if deemed necessary, to take appropriate disciplinary action.
Discrimination: Unjust or prejudicial actions or words intended to have a differential and/or harmful effect based on an individual’s race, age, or gender. (This definition does not restrict us from acting in accord with the doctrines of our faith. We reserve the right to allow participation based on Biblical requirements, spiritual qualifications, and loyalty to the Apostolic Faith Church.)
Harassment: Repeated verbal or physical conduct which creates an environment that is uncomfortable, unwelcoming, discriminating, or intimidating, or leads to an atmosphere in which a person’s ability to participate in services and activities at the church is compromised.
Sexual Harassment: Repeated or coercive sexual advances toward another person contrary to his/her wishes, or unsolicited contact that has sexual overtones. Sexual harassment also includes continuing to express sexual interest after being informed that the interest is unwelcome, or using sexualized behavior to control, influence, or affect the work, learning, or church environment of another individual.
Exploitation/Abuse of Power: Repeated words or actions in which a person in an authority or leadership role takes advantage of a vulnerable individual based upon his/her position of authority.
Intimidation: Repeated words or actions that create fear, especially with the intent of compelling or deterring behavior through the force of personality or position of authority.
Misconduct: Single or repeated incidents of behavior that are unacceptable, improper, or that violate Biblical, moral, or ethical standards.
All individuals have the right to report incidents to church leadership or local authorities in which they feel they were subjected to any of the above types of behaviors while attending or participating in events at our church.
Should a concerned individual observe that a vulnerable individual is being abused, harassed, or exploited in the church setting, he or she should bring the matter to the pastor’s attention.
Responsibility of Workers
Workers who are certain beyond a reasonable doubt that actions in one of the above categories has occurred to them have a responsibility in how the matter is handled. They should:
Responsibility of the Organization
The Apostolic Faith Church takes very seriously any allegation that misbehavior by our staff or volunteers has occurred. When such an accusation is made, the pastor or his appointee will:
If the complaint can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties that none of the above behaviors occurred, the matter will be considered closed pending further complaint or additional information.
On the other hand, if it is concluded by the pastor that any of the above types of misbehavior did occur, the pastor will report the matter to the District Superintendent and/or the Superintendent General. At his discretion, the following steps will occur: