Preparing for a Supervised Participation Plan
Community of Christ welcomes all into the fellowship of the church. As part of our enduring principles, we believe all are of worth and that in community we can find blessing. We also believe in making responsible choices that uphold the safety and well-being of everyone involved and stay in line with Christ’s mission.
Accepting an individual into the congregation who has committed abuse or been convicted of a sexual offense, especially against children, is a challenge. Congregants come face to face with the spiritual and intellectual challenges of living together in community. We should not underestimate the emotions that may surface for those with children, those who have suffered abuse as a child and those whose daily work involves abuse victims. Our urge to live out the redemptive grace of the gospel while still upholding the safety of all participants can be conflicting and exacting.
For some individuals, additional guidance and heightened accountability must be in place for them to attend a congregation. Supervised Participation Plans are the means by which we provide an opportunity for sex offenders and those who have committed abuse against children or adults, to share in the fellowship of the church.
Those who will require a Supervised Participation Plan to be present at church include:
- Registered sex offenders.
- Those awaiting trial for alleged sexual crimes against children or adults.
- Those who confess to or are convicted of sexual crimes against children or adults, including those who are placed on probation or parole for such offenses.
- There may be other offenses or incidents of inappropriate behavior for which a Supervised Participation Plan would be required. Contact Office of General Counsel if you any questions about this.
For those persons who confess to or are convicted of sex crimes against children, the supervised participation plan should be in place for life and should be reviewed at regular intervals (recommendation is annual review).
A template for the plan is available from Office of General Counsel.
It is typically helpful if the congregation is consulted and in some situations the congregation may be involved in the plan’s formation. This will reassure congregants that children will be safe at all times while allowing the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator to experience Christian worship.
For more information about Supervised Participation Plans, please contact Office of General Counsel.