Policy for Registered Sex Offenders
University Baptist Church
The University Baptist Church affirms its purpose to help all persons find authentic life as Christ's disciples. We are committed to being a religious community open to those who are seeking Christ, community among Christ's church, and spiritual nurture, especially in times of serious personal troubles. We are also committed to providing a safe and secure place for children, vulnerable adults and youth in our congregation. We are called as a church to be a shepherd of souls but we are also called to protect those who are entrusted to our care. In recognition of the fact that sins against children are especially heinous and incur a greater judgment (see Luke 17:2), the following guidelines are designed to reduce the risk to you, our children, vulnerable adults and our youth of an incident or accusation. We welcome all persons to our congregation but the participation of registered sex offenders will be limited to ensure the safety of our children, vulnerable adults and youth and to assure that the offender will not be subject to future accusations.
Christ's church is to extend hospitality to all who seek Christ through its ministries. At the same time, we embrace the Gospel's mandate to protect "the least of these" particularly children, vulnerable adults and teens. Therefore each sex offender will be dealt with on an individual basis. The laws of the state of Oklahoma stipulate that any registered sex offender who desires to worship in a local congregation must inform church officials of his/her legal status and provide, in writing to local law enforcement, proof that the individual has permission to participate in church activities. The Church Safety Committee will be entrusted with the responsibility to evaluate each offender who seeks to participate in the life of the church and take whatever actions it deems appropriate to the wellbeing of the church and its purpose to help all persons find authentic life as Christ's disciples.
The Church Safety Committee will be responsible for the following duties:
- The Safety Committee will examine each registered sex offender who requests permission to attend UBC and determine whether or not to enter a limited access agreement with the person.
- The Church Safety Committee will see that the conditions set forth in all limited access agreements are met.
- In accordance with Oklahoma State law, the committee will inform local law enforcement of each limited access agreement we enter into with any individual.
- When new members join the church, they will be told about this policy and covenant.
- Safe guards will be set up for the congregation's safety.
- The committee may seek recommendations outside the church body from professional counsel as deemed necessary.
- Church grounds should be monitored and patrolled by at least two members who are in good standing. These will include the following: parking lot, hallways, restrooms, classrooms, and the fellowship hall.
- The Preschool area door is to be locked during extended session and other services as determined by the Preschool Director and Preschool Committee.
- All employees and volunteers who work with children will have background checks. These will include the following: pastor, youth minister, music minister, Sunday school teachers and any volunteers who work with children for any reason.
- All children activities need to be calendared so that appropriate security can be provided.
- All incidents are to be reported and actions taken to be put on file.
- All children are to be properly supervised whenever they leave the classroom or activity for any reason.
- All children are to be picked up by their parent/guardian or someone that has been properly designated by the parent/guardian.
The Church Safety Committee will examine each sex offender's record and research their actions, also consulting with law enforcement agencies in our area and surrounding areas to determine at which level the sex offender is listed. This will enable the Church Safety Committee to decide what level of risk he or she would be and determine if the person can be allowed to participate in any way with the University Baptist Church. Before participating in church activities, he or she will be required to sign the limited access agreement and follow the guidelines established by the church. In addition, the Church Safety Committee will send an appropriate letter to the County Sheriff's office acknowledging our agreement with the person seeking participation in the church.
1. That the church approve the above policy regarding registered sex offenders who request to worship at University Baptist Church.
2. That the church approve the "Limited Access Agreement" form and the conditions set forth in the form.
3. That the church approve the creation of a Church Safety Committee consisting of the pastor, Preschool Director, Youth Minister, Chair of Deacons, Chair of the Christian Education Committee. This committee shall be the authorized agents of the church to implement this policy and safeguards. The committee shall be authorized, after evaluating each individual person seeking to attend the church, to write a letter to the County Sheriff's department acknowledging the agreement between the church and the registered sex offender.
Agreement to Attend University Baptist Church
Limited Access Agreement
In obedience to Christ, the University Baptist Church strives to be a redemptive, accepting community where all people, regardless of their past, can experience the gracious welcome of God and God's people. We affirm that the Apostle Paul was talking about all of us when he wrote, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Furthermore, we are committed to our mission of "helping all people find authentic life as Christ's disciples," and so we welcome all persons to worship alongside us.
Because of Oklahoma state legal requirements, criminal convictions that used to be private are now known, and some offenders are required by law to identify themselves and their offenses to church officers in order to lawfully attend a local congregation. With this requirement in mind, as well as the high calling of God to accept one another as Christ accepts us, we welcome you to our worship community with the following conditions:
1. You will not work with minors in any capacity in the church.
2. You will not transport minors to or from the church, or for any church activities.
3. You will not attend any youth or children's functions on or off church property.
4. You will always be in the presence of a designated chaperone while on church property.
5. A single violation of these conditions will result in an immediate termination of the privilege to attend church.
6. Other conditions may apply as the church develops policies to guide us in providing a safe, secure and redemptive place of worship and spiritual nurture for all people.
Person making request to attend Date
Chair of Deacons Date
Preschool Director Date