Every staff person and adult working with children and youth at First Methodist Church of Odessa must be in compliance with our Safe Sanctuary policy before volunteering.

Safe Sanctuary is an overt expression in making congregations safe places where children and youth may experience the abiding love of God and fellowship within the community of faith. It is a policy of procedures and guidelines on the ways that we protect our children and youth from emotional and physical abuse, including but not limited to sexual abuse. You can read our policy here.

But it is much more than what is written. It is a culture of thinking about the welfare of our vulnerable members in everything that we do. It is also an expression of our love for our children and youth, including those who are not members of First Methodist Church of Odessa but who participate in church-led events from time to time.

To be in compliance with Safe Sanctuary and to further our culture of caring for our children and youth, we require that all adult (age 18 and older) volunteers working with children and youth pass a background check, provide character references, and fill out a questionnaire. The church provides training to all staff and volunteers at least once per year and that training is also available online.