A positive path for spiritual living

Policy Manual


POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL


Used in conjunction with the bylaws of Unity Kitchener
Recorded in the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors

Table of Contents

BUILDING USE AND new 2012 PROPOSED RENTAL FEES

KEY POLICY AND PROCEDURES
EMPLOYMENT
FINANCIALS POLICY & New 2012 GIFTS IN KIND
FINANCIALS PROCEDURE
ECO-FRIENDLY PURCHASING POLICY
MEMBERSHIP
SALES AND SOLICITATION

New 2011:  Newsletter advertising and Unity Business Network
POSTING ON BULLETIN BOARDS
E-COMMUNICATION POLICY
TRAVEL POLICY
EDUCATION POLICY
ALTERNATES to the BOARD of DIRECTORS
EMERGENCY FIRST RESPONSE PROCEDURES
PRIVACY OF INFORMATION
POLICY & PROCEDURE FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE CONGREGATION
APPENDIX OF FORMS

  • Children’s Church Ministry Covenant
  • Incident Investigation Report
  • Children’s Ministry Information Form for Adult Teachers/Facilitators/Helpers (2)
  • Event/Course Planning Sheet (2)
  • Event Co-Sponsors’ Duties and Responsibilities

 
BUILDING USE POLICY       

 

POLICY I.     UNITY KITCHENER BUILDING USAGE POLICY

Preamble: As our community continues to grow in size and scope, the Board of Directors recognized a need for clear policy for building usage.  Without a policy in place, decisions on which events do or do not take place can be difficult, appear arbitrary and possibly lead to hurt feelings and/or damaged property. 

Benefits of having a policy include:

  1. Retaining the “sanctuary” aspect of the building,
  2. A speedy and unambiguous approval/scheduling process.
  3. Available and dependable volunteer support for events.
  4. Improved communication on events within our community. 
  5. Minimizing wear & tear on the building & equipment and
  6. Availability of safe parking.



POLICY (approved August 18th, 2005)
INTENT:  Use of the church premises by “conscious purpose” – not simply because it is an available or convenient building.  “Conscious purposes” are those that fulfill Unity Kitchener’s mission statement of committing to Spiritual Learning, Loving and Living as determined by the Minister and the Board of Directors.

GENERAL POLICY of UNITY KITCHENER is to use the building only for Unity sponsored events i.e.: worship services, life passage services (weddings, celebrations of life, baptisms), workshops, classes, small group meetings, musical & social events, and fundraisers.  Typically, each event would have a “champion”, a sponsor or facilitator who coordinates volunteer efforts, prepares and restores the room/building, etc.  

EVENT APPLICATION AND APPROVAL
Anyone wishing to conduct a Unity sponsored event must fill out an Event Form and present it to the Board of Directors for approval, scheduling and financial arrangements. As a policy, it is desirable that events are presented to the board three months in advance to allow time for proper planning and advertising. (Event Forms are available in the church office. See Appendix)

A.    Workshops/Classes:  Special one-day workshops and 4–12 week classes offered at Unity Kitchener are Unity based or supportive of the spiritual needs of our Unity community.  

i.    Classes, Workshops and Meetings: Activities facilitated by persons other than the minister will be arranged on an individual basis.  In general, if a love offering is taken, the love offering will be receipted and the offering will be split 50/50 between the facilitator and the church.

ii.    Note:  Tithing Classes such as 4T’s and Keys to the Kingdom will be 10% to facilitator where applicable.  (Clarified March 2011)

proposed rental fees - FEBRUARY 2012 DRAFT

          Weekdays:          $25 for up to 3 hours
          Weeknights:        $50 for up to 3 hours
          Sanctuary:           $50/hour
                                        Use of sound equipment requires sound technician: $25/hour
 
B.    Small Group Meetings: 

B1. Church Teams,  such as Choir, Fellowship Team, Chaplains, Youth Group, etc. need not fill out an “Event Sheet”.  However, it is important that these groups coordinate with the church office on availability of rooms for rehearsals, meetings and other activities.


B2. Self Facilitated Small Groups:  Rooms are available for self-facilitated groups, meeting on an on-going basis to support the spiritual growth of participants.  These groups need to re-confirm their purpose, activities and meeting times every three months – including holiday arrangements.  Examples:  “A Course in Miracles” and “Men of Unity”


C.    Musical and Social Events:  Church socials, including potluck dinners and talent nights are events designed to be inclusive and supportive of community building. 


D.     Fund Raising Events:  Prosperity Proposals supporting Unity Kitchener such as Heal Your Body Day and Garage Sales, need to be presented to the board a minimum of three months in advance of their date.


E.     Miscellaneous:  From time to time, the minister and the Board of Directors may determine that a specific event or activity supports the church’s ministry of a communal duty.  Examples include providing unused property for a community garden plot for the neighborhood, Food Drives, and Circulation Day.  The same guidelines apply.


F.     WEDDINGS and Life Passage services
Congregants:  Congregants will not be charged for building use for a wedding or similar activity.  Non-congregants will be charged $150.00 for 3 hours use of Sanctuary       
The Centre will be opened ninety minutes prior to service.  Arrangements can be made to access the sanctuary for decorating - no additional charge if during church operating hours.      ** No rice or confetti in church.

FEES will be split between the church and a caretaker who will open, close and clean-up.  [$75.00 for the three hours]


G. NON UNITY GROUPS:  As a matter of course, Unity Kitchener is not rented to outside groups.  Exceptions may be made by the board.
 


TOC

 
POLICY II. Church Key Policy and Procedure    Approved August 2008

A. KEYS ISSUES (i.e. Issuing of keys)
Unity Centre issues keys for those who might require access to the church in off hours for pre-approved Centre activities. This may be associated with a commitment to a one day activity, a series of classes or with a longer commitment such as a blessing team leader or a chaplain.  At the end of the commitment, the key is to be returned to the Office Manager.  Any funds owing to the key holder will be held by the church until the key is returned. 

Keyholders are not given permission to make duplicates, to loan their key to someone else or to use the building for unauthorized activities.

B. BUILDINGS KEYS: Numbered keys to the universal key to the back/side/front doors and parking lot will be distributed to the minister(s), each board member, and all employees. Additional numbered keys will be distributed to members who regularly use the building.
    -  Keys must be signed out and back in.
    - Each person receiving a Centre key will also receive a copy of this policy and a building procedure instruction sheet.

A.    Copies of Keys: The only people who have authority to make copies of the keys are the minister (Rev. Sharon) and the office manager (Trish Clarke) This inventory control of keys helps Unity Centre with insurance issues.

B.    Limited Use Issue of Keys: Numbered keys will be distributed to people for limited use such as a special class or workshop.  These are to be returned to the office manager upon completion of the class/workshop/event.  Final financial settlements will be made when key is returned.  (e.g. 50/50 split of proceeds, etc.)

C.    Shed Key: The key to the shed will be issued to those who require access to the shed.  A spare shed key will be kept by the office for those who require occasional access.

D.    Parking Lot Key: The building key also unlocks the padlock to the Dare parking lot.  This gate may only be unlocked on Sundays per agreement with Dare Cookies.

E.    Record of Key Holders: A record of each key holder is retained by the Office Manager.  This record will be kept with unassigned keys in the Administration Office.  The church key will not be loaned/given to another person by a key holder.

F.    Return of Keys: Keys will be returned upon completion of board service, employment, volunteer commitment or other change in usage such as the end of a class or the completion of a special activity.

G.    Sign-in/Sign-out: When using a key to enter the building, each keyholder must sign-in and sign-out on the clip board at the back door.

 
C. Centre Key Holders: USE OF BUILDING IN OFF HOURS PROCEDURES
Keys to the Centre are issued as needed to facilitate access to the building.  See “Unity’s Key Policy”
NO DUPLICATES: No duplicates will be made of the church key issued to you.
NO SHARING: The church key will not be given to another person
LIMITED ACCESS TO BUILDING: As a key holder, it is understood that you will only be using the building for church authorized activities. Our insurance cover only activities that have been authorized by the church staff and board.  Personal use of the building for any reason, even between members of the church, is not authorized.

1.    SIGN IN AND OUT:  If entering the building in off hours, please sign in and sign out on the clip board by the back door.
2.    LOCK/UNLOCKING: Key unlocks two crash bar doors at the back & side of Centre.
Crash bar doors lock automatically unless the Allen key is used from the inside.
    - Front door near kitchen:  Dead bolt – use for emergency only
    - Padlock on Dare parking lot gate  (Always relock padlock – even when gate is open.)
a.    OPENING PROCEDURE: If you need to have the church open to others, the Allen key for the back & front door crash bars is kept in the top drawer of the bookstore cabinet on a chain & shelf by back door. Turn on appropriate lights for safety.
b.    CLOSING PROCEDURE: As a key holder, you should be the last person to leave the building.  It is the key holder’s responsibility to insure that all doors are locked prior to leaving the building.  Check all 4 doors – two front, one side and one back. When leaving, check the backdoor from the outside to insure it is locked.
c.    SECURITY: During your time in the building, if you have left any door unlocked and have not watched to see everyone who entered the building, it is important that you do a walk through of the building to make certain no one else is in the premises.  This includes the bathrooms, lower level storage & children’s rooms and upper level offices & board room.
3.    LIGHTING:
    Sanctuary Lights: Two light switches by the back door. One controls the wall sconces & the other the “Surely the Presence” light.  When leaving, be sure the turn off both lights. 
Sanctuary overhead lights are accessible from the podium (Right to Left: Stage lights, Apse Light, and rows of ceiling lights.)  Overhead lights are also accessible in the sound booth with dimmer sliders to adjust lighting levels.
    Lobby Lights: are 1) by fountain, 2) middle column and 3) next to kitchen doors.  When leaving, all lights should be off except: overhead light by the sanctuary door and small light in prayer room.  All other lights should be turned off when leaving as well as the ceiling fans in the Sanctuary and in the upper level Board Room.

4.    EQUIPMENT:  The sound booth is only to be used by the trained sound team members.  There is a CD player available in the apse and in the church office.
Any other equipment needs should be covered with Rev. Sharon in advance.

5.    PAPERWORK, OFFERINGS, etc. that need to be left for the church, can be slide under the door to the church office upstairs.
** Please note that there are any number of activities going on at the church and any number of people who may be here to do something.  Be courteously aware of others in the building.

6.    Parking                    Approved August 18th, 2005
a.    The Dare parking lot is contracted for use only on Sundays. On street parking is also legal on Sundays (Note: the city no longer issues permits for on-street parking for other days.)   TOC
           
 
POLICY III.  EMPLOYMENT POLICY OF UNITY KITCHENER
      Approved at Board Meeting October 23rd, 2008

1.    Paid Holidays:
Ten paid holidays for employees include New Year’s Day (January), Family Day (February), Easter Monday (March or April), Victoria D (May), Canada Day (July), Civic holiday (August), Labour Day (September), Thanksgiving (October), Christmas (December), Boxing Day (December) in accordance with Ontario Labour Law. Holiday pay is pro-rated for employees working less than 24 hours per week.

2.    Vacation policy: 

2a. Fulltime employees (over 24 hours per week) receive two weeks paid vacation a year unless otherwise contracted.  After 5 years, employees received 3 weeks paid vacation and after 10 years 4 weeks.

2b. Vacation policy:  Part time employees (under 24 hours per week) will receive 2% of annual salary as vacation pay every six months, after the first six months of employment. (Equivalent to 4% per year)  Days off would then be taken without pay or employee may take the equivalent percentage of time off as paid vacation.

3.    Sick Leave
Paid sick leave for employees is at the discretion of the minister, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.  This section is designed to cover minor short term illness.

4.    Breaks: It is the responsibility of employee to take their coffee and lunch breaks as provided for under Provincial law.

5.    Safe Workplace policy
An employee is not expected to work under unsafe working conditions.  Employees are required to report unsafe situations immediately to the minister or a member of the Board of Directors. Unsafe working conditions are conditions in the workplace that would reasonably and objectively compromise the healthy and safety of the employee.

6.    Police Check: With the exception of musicians, all employees will have a police check.

7.    Bondable:  Minister, Office Manager and Administrative Assistant (Sundays) must be bondable and will sign an annual declaration stating such.    TOC
 
 
IV. FINANCIALS

I. POLICY:  CHEQUE SIGNING

Cheque signing and Money Orders:  Two authorized signatures are required on every cheque or money order. Cheques and money orders must be signed by two members of the Board of Directors. In the event that a second board member is not available, the Minister or Office Manager may provide the second signature.  (Note – all cheques must be signed by at least one member of the Board of Directors)

II. POLICY: AUTHORIZED SPENDING LIMITS

Guideline: The intention of this section is to ensure accountability of those persons authorized to spend funds on behalf of Unity Centre as well as to provide flexibility for the Minister to make appropriate financial commitments on behalf of the Centre.

a.    BOARD MEMBERS: Board members are authorized to spend up to $200 on behalf of Unity Centre without prior Board approval. Board Members may then submit receipts to the Office for reimbursement.

b.    MINISTER: The Minister is authorized to spend up to $1000.00 for any single expenditure on behalf of Unity Centre without prior Board approval.

c.    CONTRACT RENEWALS: The Minister and the Office Manager (at the direction of the Minister) may renew existing contracts on behalf of Unity Centre for such things as building maintenance and Insurance. New contracts must be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval. The Board of Directors shall be advised at the next Board meeting following, of any renewed contracts entered into by the Minister or the Office Manager.

d.    ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS: On-line Payments from Unity Centre’s Bank Account: The Minister and the Office Manager (at the direction of the Minister), are authorized to make payments on-line from Unity Centre’s bank accounts of regular monthly bills (e.g. utility and maintenance bills, obligations under existing contracts and credit card payments made in accordance with authorized spending). Two board members will initial a copy of each on-line payment as a “post” approval of the transaction.
Note: There are bank charges incurred with the writing of cheques and on-line payments are made for efficiency and cost-savings.

III. Procedure for Issuing Charitable Tax Receipts         Approved November 19th, 2009
•    Enter all love offerings in Geminon for the year.
•    Confirm that addresses are complete and are correct (review with Database (Microsoft Access)
•    Make sure you have lots of toner in the printer, (shake the cartridge)
•    In Geminon, select “Member Statements” tab
o    Official receipts tab
o    Select year, all members
o    Print Receipts tab
•    Receipts are printed on plain white paper (3 on each page)
•    Receipts are signed by any person with signing authority (rubber stamp is permitted)
•    A summary report is generated and filed in the year end package.

DUPLICATE RECEIPTS: Procedure for Issuing Charitable Tax Receipts Duplicates

•    If a duplicate is needed: (lost in mail, or misplaced by donor)
•    In Geminon, select “Member Statements” tab
o    Official receipts tab
o    Select year, and Specific Members
o    Enter the member #
o    NOTE: use paper watermarked with “Duplicate” on the page (copy is stored on the Photocopier named “Duplicate Tax Receipt”
•    Maintain a list of all duplicate receipts issued - including original receipts number and duplicate number. File with year end papers

IV. POLICY: INVESTMENTS

The Board of Directors may authorize the Treasurer or may designate another person to make such trades or transfers regarding Unity Centre’s Investments Accounts as the Board may direct or pre-approve. Such authorized person will report such trades or transfers to the Board at the next Board meeting. The Treasurer and any such authorized person must be bondable and sign an annual declaration to this effect. 
 
In respect of the funds the church founders provided for future projects and financial security, we have a policy to “Pay It Forward” so that future generations will continue to have financial flexibility.  These funds will be part of the investments and will also insure that the reserve fund maintains pace with church growth, inflation and other changing economic conditions.


a.    PAY IT FORWARD Guideline: The amount to be set aside each month to our “Pay It Forward” contribution will be set by the Board.
Pay It Forward  is a consciousness-setting tool which we use in our monthly operating budgeting process.  It's purpose is tri-fold.
*1) ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: It acknowledges the funds that are available to us through good stewardship of those who came before us.
*2)  PRACTICE:  We can see how we would fare if we were paying a mortgage payment - could we do it with ease and grace or would we need to make drastic changes
*3)  CONSCIOUSNESS:  We set a consciousness of paying it forward to those who come after us.

b.    RESERVE FUND Guideline: Our target is to maintain a reserve fund equal to three - six months operating funds depending on current market conditions.

c.    CHURCH GROWTH DEVELOPMENT FUND
Funds in excess of the Reserve amount will be considered to be “Church Development Funds” and will be invested at the Board’s discretion based on current economic conditions and Unity Centre’s needs and plans as determined by the Board.

In respect of items III a, b and c, funds in excess of daily operating requirements will be invested and available on a short term (30 day) basis and a medium term (90-180 day) basis, the combination of which shall be determined by the Board.

Any other funds in excess of annual operational expenses will also be considered as Church Development Funds. 


V: POLICY: CAPITOL EXPENDITURE

Guideline: With any new project undertaken by the Centre, the Board will provide the opportunity for the congregation to raise 50% of the funds.


VI. POLICY:  LOVE OFFERING COUNTERS     

1.    Having regard to all Privacy Legislation and obligations of confidentiality to which this Centre is subject: All members of the Love Offering Counting Team must be members of Unity Centre in good standing for a minimum of one year.

2.    Two counters must be present. Counters should be at “arm’s length” from each other.

3.    The Love Offering Count Team Leader must be a member in good standing for a and must be bondable.

4.    In recognition that God is our Source, counters will create and maintain sacred space for counting and begin with a prayer of Thanksgiving.   

5.    The following Procedures shall be followed by all members of the Love offering Count Team:

 
VII. FINANCIAL PROCEDURES:

a.    After 9:00 a.m. service:
Bring Love Offering (L.O.) upstairs to Office.
Put any loose cash into an envelope.
Stamp all the envelopes with the current day’s date.
Divide the envelopes in 2 categories: cash and cheque and mark them with “9 a.m.”

b.    Prep work:
Gather all the envelopes from the vault.
Assign them to specific categories and issue corresponding summary sheet.
Stamp date on each envelope.
Stamp a L.O. Summary (large sheet) with the current day's date.

c.    After 11:00 a.m. service
Counting prayer with the volunteer.
Separate the cheque envelopes from the cash envelops.
Stamp and write "11:00 a.m." on each envelope.
One person works on cash envelopes & the other works on cheques envelopes.

d.    Envelopes containing cheques: Open and look for proper date, signature and ensure that the amount inside matches amount written on the envelope. Stamp the back of the cheque for endorsement

e.    Envelopes containing cash: Check that the amount in the envelope matches the amount written on the envelope.
Anonymous Love Offerings go together in one envelope (record # 500). They are counted by denomination and entered on the counting sheet as anonymous. 

f.    Bookstore deposit:
Remove all cheques and cash out of the box.
Leave $50.00 cash in small denominations in box for cash flow purposes.
NEW fall 2008!! The rest is counted and INCLUDED with the general deposit.
Register the bookstore deposit in the L.O. Summary.

g.    The Love Offering Summary Sheet.
Count the receipted L.O. and register by denomination on the L.O. summary sheet.
Sum up the cheque L.O. and register the total on the L.O. summary (double check that the total amount written on the envelope matches the total from inside.)
Go through all the steps shown on the L.O. summary sheet.
Repeat the same steps with each group of envelopes and summary sheets provided for each activity during the week.
Register each amount on the L.O. summary sheet.
Gather all the cheques and register them into the bank book (2 entries per row).
Should any petty cash be requested, count the amount from cash L.O. and register on Summary sheet.
Enter the cash amount in the bank book by denomination.
Sum up the deposit amount in the bank book.
Compare the amount from the bank book with the one on the L.O. Summary sheet; they have to match.
Detach the top copy of the bank book and along with the cheques and cash, deposit into a paper envelope and in a bank plastic bag.
Place in night deposit box at Your Neighborhood Credit Union on Weber Street.

h.    POST COUNTING
Take each L.O. envelope and write the person’s Geminon Record Number on it.
Enter each envelope in the Geminon system.
Data entry the deposit by category into the QuickBooks system.
Verify that sum amount in the system matches the sum amount on the L.O. Summary Sheet.

VI k. GIFTS IN KIND Draft policy adopted Feb. 9th, 2012

 Gifts in Kind are only accepted with the approval of the board of directors. Board approval is dependant on usefulness and appropriateness to the ministry’s needs. Gifts accepted can be used or disposed of at the discretion of the Board of Directors. All gifts over a value of $500 must come with a proof of value in order to issue a GIK Tax Receipt. In accordance with the laws of Ontario, GIK receipts can not be issued for services rendered nor for commercial product donated by the commercial company.



Procedure:  MONTH END as of April 2002
Under review as of November 2009 to be more immediate
We will close off any and every month end in regards expenses, as of the last day of the month.  Bills dated in the previous month but received after month end will still be included in the previous month’s financial.  This will include the yearend up to January 31st.  Financials for the board meeting will be current as of the date of the board meeting.

Procedures: Financial Working Guidelines            April 10, 2002

These “Guidelines” are intended to be operating parameters for both Staff and Board Members with respect to the manner in which Income and Expenses are accounted for. These “Guidelines” are subject to change following Board Review.  Staff are encouraged to put forth suggestions that insure this Guideline reflects the best manner in which to accomplish the intended result.

1. Monthly Expense Recording.

a.  Monthly expenses will normally be accounted for in the month in which incurred.

b.  If an Invoice is “late” in being received, the month previous will be “Closed Off” on the last working weekday, occurring in the week prior to the week in which the Board of Directors meet.
-  This time frame provides a consistent cut-off point for expense recording, and permits generating timely reports for the Board of Directors meeting.

2. Computer File Back-Up Procedures.

a. Backup Procedures are to insure that files are not lost due to the theft of computer equipment, damage due to a fire, or damage to the computer due to any event that may cause computer information to be lost.

b. The office administrator will run a “Backup Procedure” with respect to the Computer Files at the end of each week.  A Backup Procedure requires the Office Administrator to create a backup file and download it onto a disk/Cd or flash key and store the information at home, off premises.

c. This “Backup disk/CD” is to be taken off of the premises at the end of each week by Office Manager. (Take it home).

d.  Backups will be done using two disks/CD’s or flash drives, on alternating weeks to insure maximum file retention.

d.    At any point in time, there will always be one disk “Off Premises”.

November 2009
Purchase of 2 network hard drives for back up – one for Office Manager computer and one for Minister’s computer.  Back-up to be done weekly/monthly.  These drives will be left in the computer/storage room
 
POLICY VI. ECO-FRIENDLY PURCHASING POLICY

Procurement Checklist        To Hold These Criteria in Consideration
       
General Criteria        Travel
Recycled Content        Teleconference
Biodegradable/Compostable        Choose Train or Car Where Possible
Locally Manufactured         Consider Carbon Offsets for Travel – such as planting trees
Non-toxic Materials       
Locally Derived Materials       
Low Water Consumption        The Building
Durable Products - Built to Last        Consider Bullfrog Power Offsets
Limited Packaging or No Packaging        Low maintenance Building Materials
Reusable        Recycled/Reclaimed Materials
Made with Renewable Materials        Purchase Forest Stewardship Council Stamped Woods
Made with Organic Materials        Purchased from a Small Business, locally.
Made in Canada       
Living Wage Policy         Appliances
Purchased from local Small Business        Low energy usage - Energy Star
Fair Trade Products        Durability
        Low water consumption
Food        Made in Canada
Organically Grown        Purchased from a Small Business, locally
Locally Grown       
Limited to No Packaging        In the Yard
Locally Processed        Biodegradable/Natural Ingredients
Fairly Traded Products        Low/No Water Consumption
Small Business        Native Plants
        Drought Tolerant Plants
Paints/Cleaners        Edible Plants
Low VOC       
No Fungicides       
Biodegradable/Natural Ingredients       
Refillable Bottles       
TOC
 

Policy on Church teams retaining undocumented cash: 
 
All income and proceeds need to be accounted by in the church’s Quickbooks.  Line items can be used to delineate income and expenses from specific channels or teams.  Example: Social Team Income and social Team Expense. Teams are not to maintain floating cash supplies.




POLICY VII. MEMBERSHIP POLICY
POLICY RE MEMBERSHIP: "Friends of Unity"
For a variety of reasons, a person may wish to be association with Unity Centre, but not be a voting member.  From time to time members can no longer be active participants in the Centre due to health, distance or other personal circumstances. In order to support and sustain the connection that people have with the church, the Board will adopt the title "Friend of Unity" for any non-active member who requests it.  Friends of Unity are non voting members .
FRIENDS OF Unity Centre – Non-voting Members
1.    Membership application is filled out and submitted to the church office.
2.    In accordance with our bylaws, the application is reviewed at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors.
3.    The acceptance is noted in the board minutes.
4.    The minister sends a letter acknowledging the person’s accepted membership
5.    The application and a copy of the letter is kept on file with Administration
6.    The Administrator adds the person’s name to the current list of Friends of Unity, the mailing list and to the Birthday list.
7.    Note:  This is a non-voting membership status and it does not have to be renewed annually.
Procedure for New Members    7/00    Voting Members     Updated April 2003
1.    Membership application is filled out and submitted to the church office.
2.    In accordance with our bylaws, the application is reviewed at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors.
3.    The acceptance is noted in the board minutes.
4.    An introductory class on Unity and Unity Centre must be attended by all new members.
CONSIDER:  A membership competency programme – possibly to include
    a) Spiritual Gifts Workshop, b) Unity Basics Workshop
5.    The minister sends a letter acknowledging the person’s accepted membership, along with a copy of the by laws pertaining to members.
6.    The application and a copy of the letter is kept on file with the Church office
7.    The Office Manager adds the person’s name to the current list of members, mailing list and to the Birthday list
8.    The new member is welcomed at a church service.  The welcoming ceremony consists of presenting the member with a copy of a Unity and the congregation sings a Blessing to the new member(s).
9.    From the time the member is approved at the board meeting, the member is eligible to vote on all church matters.
RENEWAL OF MEMBERSHIPS PROCEDURES
1.    Each October all memberships must be renewed by October 31st. At that time, all non-renewed members names should be “deleted” from the computer records.
2.    Renewal applications are submitted to the Board of Directors for Approval.
3.    In accordance with our bylaws, the application is reviewed at the next regularly Scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors.
4.    The acceptance is noted in the board minutes.
5.    Once approved, the new membership list is added to the computer.
6.    For renewals at other times, the renewal application is submitted to the board, approved and noted in the board minutes. Once it is approved, the form is given to the Office Manager to be added to the data base. There is a two week grace period for renewal – up until November 15th.  After that the non-renewed member is no longer considered a voting member and must attend a new members class to rejoin if they have not renewed for two years (See bylaws 2.03).    TOC


POLICY VIII. Church Policy on Sales and Solicitation        2002

Bookroom Sales Policy
Because of a number of offerings from our talented congregation and the quantity of product in the marketplace, we have a need for a clear policy regarding product carried in our bookstore.
     1.  DONATIONS:  We will accept donations of product with proceeds going to the church.
    2.  CONSIGNMENT:  We will not accept any product on consignment.
    3. APPROVED PRODUCT:  If product is not distributed by Unity School, Association of Unity Churches, or Devors Books, the product must be approved by the Board of Directors before being purchased by the bookstore. 
    4,  RETURNS:  All purchased product must have a "return" option.
    5.  MARGIN:  Product carried in the bookstore will have a 25% - 40% mark-up to cover the costs associated with the bookstore - Daily Words for visitors, unsold inventory, etc. 
    6.  CLASS MATERIAL:  The exception to this mark-up rule is material brought in for use for Unity classes which may be sold at cost or subsidized by the Centre.
    7.  GUESTS:  Guest speakers and musicians may sell their product on the day they are speaking or performing at the Centre.  A portion of sales will be shared with the Centre unless other contractual arrangements are made.

Policy on Soliciting non-church sponsored Events and Product

    Only Unity Centre sponsored product may be sold at Unity Centre.  We ask everyone's cooperation in refraining from soliciting donations for other worthwhile causes or selling product to support other organizations.  While the intent is charitable, the church is not the venue for these activities. 
    If there is a cause that you feel is worth our support, bring the suggestion to the Board of Directors as either a suggestion for tithing or a community project such as Operation Christmas Child or the Waterloo Regional Food Drive.

POLICY ON ADVERTISING AT THE CHURCH

1.    No advertising for non-church events in the Unity newsletter
2.    Posting of community events, but not personal businesses, on bulletin board with prior Board Approval
3.    Occasionally a congregant has taken on the project of creating a “Unity Services Directory” which is an appropriate venue for paid advertising by individual congregants. 

 
POLICY:  Unity Kitchener Policy on Sales and Solicitation 2011

Chapter and Verse Bookstore Sales Policy
Because of a number of offerings from our talented congregation and the quantity of product in the marketplace, this is the Unity Kitchener policy regarding product carried in our bookstore, Chapter & Verse.
1.  DONATIONS:  We will accept donations of product with proceeds going to the church.
    2.  CONSIGNMENT:  We will not accept any product on consignment.
3.  APPROVED PRODUCT:  If product is not distributed by Unity School, Unity Worldwide Ministry, or one of our regular book vendors, the product must be approved by the Board of Directors before being purchased by the bookstore. 
    4.  RETURNS:  All purchased product must have a "return" option.
5. MARGIN:  Product carried in the bookstore will have a 25% - 40% mark-up to cover the costs associated with the bookstore - Daily Words for visitors, unsold inventory, etc. 
6.  CLASS MATERIAL:  The exception to this mark-up rule is material brought in for use for Unity classes which may be sold at cost or subsidized by the Centre.
7.  GUESTS:  Guest speakers and musicians may sell their product on the day they are speaking or performing at the Centre.  A portion of sales may be shared with Unity Kitchener depending on the original agreement with the speaker/musician.

Policy on Soliciting Non-Unity sponsored Events and Product

Only Unity Centre sponsored product may be sold at Unity Centre.  We ask everyone's cooperation in refraining from soliciting donations for other worthwhile causes or selling product to support other organizations.  While the intent is charitable, the church is not the venue for these activities.

If there is a cause that you feel is worth our support, bring the suggestion to the Board of Directors as either a suggestion for tithing or a community project such as Out of the Cold or the Waterloo Regional Food Drive.

POLICY ON ADVERTISING AT THE UNITY KITCHENER

UNITY CENTRE NEWSLETTER BUSINESS CARD ADVERTISEMENT 2011
1.    Business card size advertising is available in the Unity newsletter for $20.00 per month based on a 3 month contract as of April 2011.
2.    Businesses that wish to advertise in the Unity newsletter must submit a “Request for Newsletter Advertising” form for Unity Board approval with the business card (one sided printing only).
3.  All businesses must be in compliance with Unity Centre core values.
4.    Once a business card is approved for advertising in the Unity newsletter, it is the responsibility of the business to renew the 3 month contract with a new “Request for Newsletter Advertising” submission to the Board a minimum of 30 days prior to the next newsletter publication.
5.    Payment for the 3 month advertising contract ($60.00) is due 30 days prior to the first month’s publication.  Payment to Unity Kitchener may be made by cash, cheque, Visa or Mastercard.
6.    To respect the spiritual nature of Unity Kitchener, it is understood that business will not take place at Unity Kitchener at any time. 
BUSINESSES WHO WISH TO SUPPORT UNITY CENTRE WITH A PERCENTAGE OF SALES

1.    Unity Kitchener will provide a rack for business cards for those businesses who wish to support Unity Centre with a percentage of sales donation.  There is no charge for this service.
2.    Businesses must submit a “Request for Business Card Advertising” for Unity Board approval with the business card (one sided printing only).
3.    All businesses must be in compliance with Unity Centre core values.
4.    Upon approval, business cards (one side printed only) will be displayed with a Unity Centre sticker & the % of sale donation, agreed upon in the “Request for Business Card Advertising”, on the backside of the card in the business card holder on the wall on the landing on the main level of the sanctuary.
5.    It is the business’s responsibility to submit the donation agreed upon to Unity Centre by cash, cheque or Visa/Mastercard.
6.    It is the business’s responsibility to supply a minimum of 25 business cards to the Unity secretary once the “Request for Business Card Advertising” submission has been approved.
7.    Once approved, the business cards will be displayed until December 31st of the approved year.  It is the business’s responsibility to submit a new “Request for Business Card Advertising” a minimum of 30 days prior to December 31st for approval at the December Unity Board meeting to advertise for the upcoming year. 
8.    It is the business’s responsibility to replenish business cards on an on-going basis by submitting batches (minimum of 25 cards) to the Unity Office Manager throughout the year.
9.    Any new business may apply for “Request for Business Card Advertising” by submitting a request to the Unity Board at any time throughout the year for display through December 31st of that same year.
10.    To respect the spiritual nature of Unity Centre, it is understood that business will not take place at Unity Centre at any time. 

GENERAL ADVERTISING POLICY INFORMATION
4.    Posting of community events, but not personal businesses, on bulletin board in the hallway to the side door of Unity Centre.
5.    The Services Directory is another venue for paid advertising by individual congregants.


POLICY IX. UCPC Poster Board Display            2005

Unity Church of Practical Christianity encourages congregants to inform others of upcoming events of interest as well as providing valuable information to those looking for assistance in areas outside of the church’s realm.  All postings must be approved by the Board of Directors in advance.

Anyone wishing to post an advertisement, interest item or community event happening on the poster board in the UCPC lobby may do so with the following qualifications:

1.    The poster or advertisement may be for charitable community events, special interests etc but not personal business or solicitation.  For example, a poster for “Run for the Cure” with date and time is acceptable but not a personal sponsorship sheet.

2.    All advertisements must be in the spirit and in alignment with the principles of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity.  Any items deemed inappropriate by the Minister or the Board will be removed without notice.

3.    All items must be given to the church office manager before being posted.  Each item will be dated.  Items will be removed after one month on the poster board or when date of event has passed.

4.    Absolutely no business cards or business solicitation is allowed.

5.    Brochures of on-going interest (1-800 help-lines, community/government agencies etc) will be displayed on the poster board on-going and removed only if information becomes dated or the original brochure becomes worn.  If you have updated information brochures please give them to the church secretary to replace current brochures.

If there is a cause you feel is worth support and should be advertised on the UCPC Poster Board, but does not fit into the above guidelines please bring your suggestion to the attention of the Board of Directors to seek further approval.

Approved by the Board: July 2005-07-22
 
POLICY X. Travel Policy Proposal as of November 1, 2007

Transportation: When traveling on pre-approved church business, the church will pay for economy air fare or reimburse mileage at the rate of 42.5 cents/kilometer.
 
Accommodation:  The church will be pay for a moderately priced hotel/motel room, double occupancy when feasible.

Food:  When traveling for church business, the cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages is reimbursed up to$30.00 a day.  Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Registration fees for conference and training:  The church will cover the cost of Unity conferences and training or pre-approved equivalent events.    TOC
 

POLICY:  E-Communications     DRAFT        Draft December 2011

This policy includes the website, www.UnityKitchener.com, Facebook page “Unity Kitchener”, emails sent by church employees and leaders.  Any material posted in e-format is subject to the same policies we have for posting information within Unity Kitchener (The Church Policy on Sales and Solicitation)

E-Mails:  With the new website, Unity Kitchener has access to a cache of dedicated email addresses that can be used for communication about church business.  minister@unitykitchener.com, admin@unitykitchener.com, board@unitykitchener.com, classes@unitykitchener.com, etc.

Personal e-mails: When sending emails on behalf of Unity Kitchener and using a personal email address, care must be taken to avoid “signature references” to non-Unity business, commercial enterprises, political parties or anything else that could be construed as being supported by Unity Kitchener, especially those in contradiction with charitable laws.

E-Content on Official Unity Kitchener sites and pages
Website: UnityKitchener.com
Facebook Page: “Unity Kitchener”

Page administrators:  Posting should only reference Unity Kitchener approved events

Comments made by other individuals need to be kind, non-invasive, socially appropriate, honouring and respectful, in alignment with Unity principles and non-commercial, non-political
       
Photos:  Publically taken photos only. If an individual requests that we remove their photo, we will honour that request.

Material posted on the website is subject to the approval of the minister and board of directors.

Blog comments:  Comments made by other individuals need to be kind, non-invasive, socially appropriate, honouring and respectful, in alignment with Unity principles and non-commercial, non-political
 

TOC


POLICY XI.  Education Policy

1.    Priority of Classes
a)    Unity education program provides classes that are empowering and transformative in a healthy, positive way.
b)    Priority is to be given to classes that are Unity Spiritual Education and Enrichment classes; New Members and Unity Basics; Prosperity; and Prayer.
c)    Criteria for classes will be weighted and based on:
1. A Unity priority class;
2. How current and timely the topic is;
3. That it is in alignment with Unity Truth principles;
4. The number of people that it will serve;
5. Frequency or timing;
6. Contributes to social and community building;
7. Experientially empowering;
8. Qualifications of and prior experience with the facilitator;
9. Unity Outreach class that also serves a segment of the congregation;
11. Provides support for those on leadership/teaching path;
10. That it is in alignment with Board goals and objectives.
d)    In approving classes, the Board will consider whether the class is a high, medium or low priority based on the criteria noted in (c).

2.    Qualifications of Facilitators
All classes and workshops taught at Unity are to be in alignment with Unity teachings. Unity Instructors will have a good working knowledge of Unity teachings. Outside presenters will have a consciousness in alignment with Unity teachings and their teachings must be of value to the Unity community. The minister may require references, an interview and/or course descriptions and lesson plans. The minister may also require presenters to complete a Unity principles competency evaluation. The minister may delegate this authority to the Education Coordinator.

The Board, in approving any requests for classes, will consider the qualifications of the instructor including: professional background where applicable, any references if unknown to the Board, length of time at Unity (if applicable), whether they have taught Unity classes before and the outcome of those classes and the recommendation of the minister.

3.    TThe Education Coordinator
Will assist in the process by ensuring all documents including event planning form sheets and/or lesson plans and co-sponsor checklist are completed and reviewed with the minister before dates are confirmed and submitted to the board for final approval. Proposed dates for events will be co-coordinated through the Education coordinator in consultation with the minister in advance.
The Education coordinator may attend and monitor any class, workshop or event at any time.

4.    The Education Program dovetails with the goals and long term plans of Unity Centre under the guidance of the minister. (i.e. priority of classes not always based on the greatest number of people served but also where there is an apparent opportunity for growth.

5.    Children’s and Youth programs are supported by the Education Coordinator and are consistent with Education Policy.

6.    Event organization Event planning forms are to be submitted to the Board and minister through the Education and Events Coordinator. There must be 2 co-signers, one of whom must be a (voting) member of U.C.P.C. The Sponsor/co-sponsors responsibilities are outlined in the Sponsor/co-sponsors Checklist of Responsibilities (APPENDIX) This includes keeping and submitting records of class attendance and standard evaluation forms as well as opening and closing procedures.

Refer to the Event Planning Form (APPENDIX) for a more thorough list of responsibilities of facilitators and co-signers. Except where prior arrangements have been approved, the named facilitator is responsible to attend all the sessions. Only the facilitators, topics indicated and equipment requested on the form submitted to and approved of by the Board is to be used in the classes.

Classes that wish to renew or extend must submit an Event Planning Form to the minister or education coordinator and will be permitted at the discretion of the minister or designate. The Board will then be subsequently advised.

7.    Social and Community Building. Intention: to provide at least one event each month that is geared to all ages, is free and fosters the development of our community.   TOC

 
POLICY XII.  BOARD ALTERNATES - POLICY ON Non-voting Board Participants

    The Board of Directors, by unanimous consent, can choose to appoint a maximum of two Alternates to serve with the board at any given time.


ALTERNATES
    The intent of appointing Alternates is to insure there are available persons conversant with current board issues in the event a board member is unable to complete their term. 

As per the by-laws of Unity Centre, these positions are non-voting. 

Alternates are appointed to the board for one year. This appointment is renewable to a maximum of three years.  Alternates will be installed with the board, take the same oath, and abide by the same ethics, confidentiality and transparency intentions.  Alternates can head task teams, receive the same information package as new board members, and with the exception of in camera items, participate in all board discussions, and be included on the board email list.

Alternates must meet the same qualifications as a Board Member (see Bylaws Section 3.04 (a))

Duties.  As representatives of the Membership, an Alternate shall:
(1)    Hold sacred space for the future of Unity Centre
(2)    Uphold the spiritual purpose of this Ministry as stated in Bylaws Section 1.01.
(3)    Uphold the highest interest of the Membership in conducting the business of this
               Ministry.
(4)    Be conversant with the Church bylaws and policies.
(5)    Be faithful in attendance at services, board and membership meetings of this
               Ministry – with the exception of in camera sessions.
(6)    Be willing to serve as a board member to fill the un-expired term of a board member
              who is unable to complete their term.  See Bylaws Section 3.07. 

Note:  When selecting board members for a new term, the nominating committee may consider, but is not obligated to choose, Alternates for the position as per bylaws 3.04 section b.     TOC


POLICY XIII. FIRST RESPONSE PROCEDURES

1.0    PURPOSE

The purpose of this emergency response procedure is to provide first responders with guidance to respond to emergency medical situations during church services.

2.0    RESPONSIBILITIES

Emergency responders who respond to emergency medical situations during church services should perform the following:
2.1    Assess the situation with congregant.
2.2    If medical emergency call 911.
2.3    Signal for CPR Responder.
2.4    If not medical emergency assist willing congregant
outside of the sanctuary.

3.0    EQUIPMENT
3.1 Portable Phone and land line in lobby

Fire Response Procedure
1.0    PURPOSE
The purpose of this fire response procedure is to provide first responders with guidance to respond to fire emergency situations during candle light church services.

2.0    RESPONSIBILITIES
Emergency responders who respond to emergency fire situations during church services should perform the following:
2.1    Fire extinguisher located at back entrance of sanctuary for quick use.
2.2    If evacuation is necessary 1 emergency responder to call 911.
2.3    Emergency Responders evacuate congregants from the sanctuary.
3.0    EQUIPMENT
3.1    Portable Phone
3.2    Fire Extinguisher
TOC

 
XIV. PRIVACY OF INFORMATION POLICY
Types of Data Collected

Membership database, Friends of Unity database, Mailing List, Birthday List, Phone List, Class and Workshop Sign-up Lists, Volunteer Sign-up Lists, CEP Student Information, Love Offering Records, Email Group Mailing List

1. PURPOSE OF COLLECTING PERSONAL INFORMATION ON PEOPLE WHO ATTEND UNITY Kitchener
  Unity Kitchener gathers personal data for the following purposes
a)    to issue year end tax receipts
b)    to mail newsletters and other church information
c)    to maintain a list of members
d)    to contact members on their birthdays
e)    to notify interested parties about changes in classes, workshops and activities for which they have registered or attended
f)    to maintain data on CEP credit taken
g)    to send greeting cards
h)    to make “wellness” calls
i)    to contact volunteers about the service for which they volunteered or to assist associated volunteers in contacting other volunteers to become a replacement when they are not able to fulfill a commitment

It is the procedure of Unity Kitchener to note applicable policy on any and all data collecting documents.

2. STORAGE OF INFORMATION
a. Computer Storage:  Names, address, membership information, birthdays, phone numbers and email addresses are kept on the Office computer. This file is accessible by a code word by the church administrator, the minister, and a limited number of authorized volunteers.
b.    A paper copy of birthdays is kept by the minister
c.    A hard copy of the address and phone list is kept by the minister, the Pastoral lay person, the Chaplain Director
d.    Temporary data is retained on sign-up sheets for classes, workshops, activities and volunteers.
e.    An Email distribution list is retained by the senior minister

3.  ACCESS TO INFORMATION
a.    The Church Administrator, ministers, chaplains, and selected volunteers have access to the mailing list and phone list.
b.    The Church administrator, the senior minister and a selected accountant has access to Records of Donations.
c.    A class or workshop facilitator will have the phone numbers of those registered for the class or workshop.
d.    A team leader for a particular area of service will have access to contact information for all people who have volunteered to be in service for that activity.  Volunteers within a specific group of volunteers will have access to contact information within the group – e.g. ushers and greeters will have contact information for other ushers & greeters.
e.    Phone numbers, addresses or email addresses will not be given to any other person.  Nor will our data base be provided to any outside organization, with the exception of Revenue Canada for the purpose of yearend tax receipts and Records of Employment as required by law.

4.  UPDATING INFORMATION
a.    Membership Data Base is updated when
1)    a new person joins the church
2)    all memberships are renewed in October of each year.
b.    Friends of Unity Data Base is updated when Unity Centre is notified of a change of address or an individual’s death.
c.    Mailing List is updated when
1)    receiving notification of a change of address, the address is updated
2)    receiving a notice of “undeliverable” on a mailing, the address is deleted
3)    a person requests to be added or removed from the mailing list – the change is made in the database to reflect this request.
4)    receiving notification of death, the address is deleted.
d.    Birthday List is generated from the Membership database and is updated when the membership list is updated.
e.    Phone List is generated by the Membership database and is updated when the membership list is updated.
f.    Lists for Classes, Workshops, Events and Volunteers are generated from sign-up sheets and are destroyed at the end of the class.
g.    SEE (Spiritual Education and Enrichment formerly known as “Continuing Education Program”) class information lists are generated by each class and updated as updates are provided by the student or by Unity School Canada or Unity Institute (Missouri).  Student Information collected during a class is forwarded to Unity School Canada and/or Unity Institute where it is retained in their database.
h.    Love Offering Records are generated by Love Offering Envelopes.  The information is entered into a computer program to generate yearend tax receipts.  The envelopes and copies of the tax receipts are retained for seven years in the church archives and then shredded.
TOC
 
XV. POLICY AND PROCEDURE FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE CONGREGATION OF UNITY KITCHENER

Unity Centre of Practical Christianity has a spiritual, moral and legal obligation to provide a secure environment for children and youth who participate in church programs.  Abuse of children or youth is a criminal act and a violation of human dignity.  It is a violation of God’s moral law within the trusted context of relationship.  It is criminal behavior that causes emotional, physical and spiritual trauma to victims, and has destructive consequences for abusers.  This policy is to take appropriate steps to prevent abuse from occurring.

THE SPIRITUAL AND MORAL REPSONSIBILITY OF THE CHURCH

Mission Statement of the Unity Centre’s Children’s Church

Our mission is to support youth
in enhancing their creative and loving relationships
with self, others and God.

Our aim is to provide a safe and nurturing environment in which we can help our children to experience God’s love within them.  We view ourselves as partners with parents, seeking to provide quality care and instruction in our ministry to all ages.  We recognize that as a church, we are a reflection of God’s love to those in our care and we take our responsibility to them seriously.

Everyone who teaches, helps or cares for children or youth under the auspices of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity is required to follow the policies, procedures and guidelines defined in this document.  They are designed to protect and promote growth in faith for each child, youth and adult.  Their purpose is to assist church leaders in the recruiting of volunteers and, to the greatest extent possible, to provide for the safety of those served by these volunteers.


PLAN FOR WELL-BEING:  THREE IMPORTANT REASONS

In making sure Unity Centre of Practical Christianity is a safe place, we will be:

1.    Safeguarding preschoolers, children and youth of our church from abuse.

2.    Protecting the church staff and volunteers from potential allegations of abuse.

3.    Limiting the extent of legal risk and liability due to any such abuse.

CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

Unity Centre of Practical Christianity makes the following commitments to protect our children, youth and those who minister to and with them:

1.    SCREENING:  We will screen all paid employees, including pastors, and volunteers who work with preschoolers, children or youth.

2.    POLICE RECORDS CHECK:  All paid staff and volunteers will undergo a police records check.  The church will pay any associated fees for the police check.

3.    STAFF TRAINING:  We will train all of our staff who work with preschoolers, children or youth, both paid and volunteer, to understand the nature of child sexual abuse, and how to carry out policies to prevent sexual abuse including clearly defined reporting procedures for suspected incidents.

4.    POLICY STATEMENT:  We take seriously our policies to prevent sexual abuse and will see that they are enforced.

5.    A VOLUNTEER MINSTRY COVENANT (sample page 12) will be signed by all volunteers agreeing to comply with church policies and guidelines.

6.    THE TWO ADULT RULE:  A minimum of two adults will be present during any activities involving children or youth.  We consider two adults in the Children’s Church area with windowed doors to comply with this rule even though the classes meet in adjoining rooms.

7.    THE SIX MONTH RULE:  Volunteers will be permitted to work with preschoolers, children or youth only after they have been active members or active adherents of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity for a period of six months.

8.    CHECKING REFERENCES:  The minister, Administrative Assistant or a person designated by the Board of Directors will check references for volunteers applying for any position involving work with preschoolers, children or youth.  We reserve the right to ask for a police records check.  This will always be required in those instances where an applicant’s credentials cannot be verified.

9.    CHILDREN’S CHURCH DIRECTORY:  A directory of names and addresses of volunteers, parents and children will be carefully maintained by the Youth Ed Director with a copy held by the Administrative Assistant.


Church Ministry Policy and Procedures    Regarding Child Safety

1.    VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT PROCEDURES
Volunteers will be recruited by the minister, youth education director or volunteers helping to administer a particular program.

1a) APPROVAL:  All names of potential volunteers will be approved by a minister, and Board of Directors or an Education committee empowered by the Board of Directors.  If the pastoral staff is aware of any reason why a person would hot be suitable for a volunteer position, further investigation and discussion will take place and a final approval, or denial, of the name will be made. If there are medical reasons for a potential volunteer to not be suitable as a leader/helper, he/she will be paired with another volunteer.

1b) NEW PERSON REPORT:  In the case of a potential volunteer who is new to the church family, a confidential dialogue will take place to determine interest, experience in the children/youth ministry and readiness of the individual.  This dialogue will be conducted by a member of the Board of Directors or the Education Committee or the minister.  A confidential report will be given at the next Board meeting to determine suitability of the candidate.  If required, further dialogues will take place.  New potential leaders for any program will not be assigned to work alone, but will be paired with leaders who are familiar with the program.

1c) PARENT VOLUNTEERS:  From time to time, parent volunteers are needed to assist in a particular program’s event.  When a parent who is not an active participant in the church congregation volunteers, he/she is to be screened by the coordinator of the program and teamed with a leader who has been approved by the Board of Directors.  Under no circumstances is a parent volunteer to be alone with a child or group of children and out of sight of other leaders.  (PROCEDURE #6)

1d) APPLICATION:  The Unity Centre of Practical Christianity’s Children’s Ministry Information Form (yellow – sample page 14-15) must filled out by potential volunteers.  It is a vital part of protecting the church from legal action if a case of an alleged wrongful act is filed against the church. This form must be completed buy they volunteer prior to being approved by the Board of Directors or Education Committee.  The completed forms are confidential and will be kept on file at the church.   The form asks for two personal references. These references will be contacted by a member of the Education Committee or a minister and asked to comment on their knowledge of the volunteer.  A careful record will be kept on file of the person making the contacts, the date of the calls and a summary of the reference’s comments.  (This form is attached to the Children’s Ministry Information Form.)  All hired and volunteer staff of Unity Centre of Practical Christianity may be asked to have a police check done at the expense of Unity Centre.


2.    LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROCEDURES
The methodology implemented in children’s ministry must reflect the physical, social, mental, and spiritual development of children in the age grouping of a particular program.  The curriculum content and program development must be familiar to the leaders in the program. The extent to which a leader is familiar with the development needs of the group and the goals of the curriculum will determine the effectiveness of the program.

We value the volunteers and make every effort to develop their skills as leaders and their knowledge of the development needs of the children they serve.  Our efforts to develop a leader’s ski8lls and knowledge include, but are not limited to, seeking our appropriate workshops or providing in-house seminars on child/teen developmental issues, curriculum development, creative classroom control, children with special needs and team teaching.

Mentors are an effective way to develop, one-on-one, the leadership skills needed in a position.  Where possible, leaders-in-training and new leaders will be paired with a veteran leader, who will pass on wisdom, experience and knowledge relevant to the leadership responsibilities of the position.

3.    PERSONAL SAFETY PROCEDURES
We are concerned about the safety of children, families and volunteers we serve.  In an effort to lessen the possibility of abuses occurring and to maintain conduct, which is above reproach, we have developed the following standards for our children’s ministry.

 3a) SUPERVISION RATIO

Our goal in the classroom is to provide an environment of acceptance and love in which learning can take place.  Room allocation is geared to the needs and size of a particular class/group.

For teaching classes:
There will be a minimum of 1 adult teacher for every Sunday School class.  When the class size goes above the registered size on a given Sunday, an extra helper will assist the teacher.  These volunteers will be on a Sunday School supply helper list or will be a teacher who is not scheduled to teach on that particular Sunday.

Whenever there is only one adult leader in a classroom with children, the door will remain slightly open or there will be a window allowing anyone passing to look in without interrupting the teaching process.

3b) NURSERY

We do not currently provide nursery services.  The prayer room on the upper level is available for use by families with small children during worship services and workshops.  The parents will be able to view and hear the service while taking care of the needs of their children.  The parent(s) will be responsible for their own children and will not leave their children unattended at any time.

3c) RECORD KEEPING

Complete records are to be kept for each Sunday School class. These records are to include names of children, addresses, phone numbers, parent name(s) and any allergy/medical information including health card numbers, that are important for leaders to know. The records are to be handed into the church office at the end of each class season – June of each year.  They will be filed in the office in their original form under the title of each class. The files will be kept for a period of 30 years.  List of classroom attendance are to be maintained each week.  The names of leaders/volunteers are to be noted each week as well.

3d) RESTROOMS

Parents are encouraged to take their children to the washroom prior to the beginning of the service.  Should a child need to go to the washroom during the service, parents are encouraged to go with the child.  No child should be sent to the washroom alone.  If parents determine a child is old enough to go to the washroom alone without an adult, it is recommended that they send two older children together.  Parents/Guardians must take responsibility to monitor their children.  When this is not possible, it is recommended that the child use the washrooms located nearest to the sanctuary or meeting room.

Sunday School teachers of children under the age of 10 are encouraged to have the whole class stop at the washrooms on the way to the classroom, remain at the washroom area until everyone is finished and then proceed to the classroom.  The bathroom in the Children’s Church area has access directly off of the children’s classrooms.

3e) SLEEPOVERS

If a sleepover is to be held for the children or youth, additional adult supervision is required. 

Groups, which are co-ed, must have adequate adult supervision of both genders.  The supervisors should not all be members of the same family.  Additional adults may be recruited for the event.  A minimum of 2 adult supervisors of each gender is recommended.

3f) SICK CHILDREN

Children who are not feeling well should not be received into the classroom.  Some signs of illness are unusual fatigue or irritability, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, inflamed mouth and throat, complaining of sore ears or throat, and rash.  Children with these or similar symptoms should be returned to the parent(s) or guardian(s).

3g) EMERGENCIES

Workers are not to give or apply any medications to children except for bandages for minor cuts/abrasions or ice packs for bumps.  If a child needs medication, the parent must administer it. No medications will be left in any classroom or the prayer room with the following exceptions:  children who carry inhalers for asthma or medication for serious allergies.

Emergency procedures in the event of a fire will be reviewed semi-annually, in September and in April, and when new volunteers are added.  Workers will be trained in these procedures. Evacuation procedures are to be posted in each room.

First aid boxes will be kept on hand and all workers are to review their locations and contents in the early fall and early spring term.

3h) PARTIES AND FIELD TRIPS

Children’s programs are encouraged to provide opportunities for the group to go outside of the church building and into the community around.  The community provides a variety of outing possibilities to enhance the curriculum being taught in a program and to serve the community.  The following are procedures for outings and parties, which are off the church property.

There must be sufficient supervision at all outings.  This would include the regular leaders within a program and parents of the children or approved volunteers.  Parents helping with the outing do not need to fill out a Unity Centre of Practical Christianity Ministry Information Form.

All outings must have a signed and dated parental waiver from each parent/guardian. The waiver must state the nature of the outing, the time of departure and return, the destination (including the name of the host, address and phone number), the mode of transportation and the cost to the child if any.  If the outing involves transportation, the leaders should leave a list of the drivers’ names, license numbers and children in particular vehicles. This list should be left in the church office on the bulletin board where it can be easily found.  Once a child has been assigned to a particular vehicle, he/she is not to switch vehicles.

Parties in home must provide additional non-related adult supervision when the children are present in the home.

3i) WORKER BEHAVIOR

Workers must always be above reproach in their words and conduct.  They are to behave in a loving manner, demonstrating the principles of respect, honesty and trustworthiness.

All workers must fill out and keep up-to-date a Unity Centre Children’s Ministry Information Form. This form is to be reviewed annually.

Workers must not in any way be involved in any of the following activities with older children: extended hugging, kissing, sitting on a lap, inappropriate touching or being alone with a child.

In the event that a child approaches an adult leader with the intent to hug or kiss, or unexpectedly does so, the adult leader should accept the affection, but should quickly as possible, in a non-rejecting manner, encourage a more appropriate form of physical contact.  Appropriate expressions for ages 0 – 3 include picking up the child, comforting the child, holding the hand of the child, changing diapers.  Appropriate physical contact with children ages 4+ could include a handshake, pat on the back, a quick hug of encouragement with hands located in shoulder area and a “high five”.

Workers who are not feeling well should not lead a group of children. Notification, if possible, to a team member should happen as soon as possible so that others workers can step in and assist in the supervision of children. When notification is not possible until the last minute, adjustments should bed made in the program to allow for doors to be open and the group meeting to take place in a higher traffic area where others can check on the group without interrupting the session.

4.   STAFF AND VOLUNTEER SUPPORT

It is our goal, not only to provide for the safety of our children and youth, but also to support and provide, to the best of our ability, a system of procedures that will protect the staff and volunteers from being falsely accused of wrongful acts. This is accomplished by:
a)    Screening potential leaders to determine where a volunteer would be best suited to use their gifts, abilities, interests and experiences.
b)    Providing leadership development that will further prepare the volunteer for leadership within a group/class.
c)    Adhere to the Procedures in section 3:  Personal Safety Procedures
d)    Maintaining the records of groups/classes for a period of 30 years in their original form
e)    Providing coverage for all staff and volunteers under Unity Centre’s Insurance policy with periodic reviews to insure that the Policy covers all areas of our church ministry.
When a staff person or volunteer is accused of an alleged wrongful act, the church congregation will provide spiritual and moral support to the person(s) involved.

5. CHILD ABUSE:  PREVENTION AND PROCEDURES

•    Physical Abuse:  This is the use of physical force by the caretaker (parent/guardian, babysitters, or foster parent) of the child, which results in any injury to the child.  This injury is sometimes described as a non-accidental injury by health professionals.

•    Physical Neglect:  This is the chronic or episodic withholding of necessary or essential physical care form the child with resulting injury or damage to the child. Necessary physical care can include food, nutrition, shelter, clothing, medical car, safety, supervision, sensory stimulation (particularly to young infants)

•    Emotional Abuse:  This is the acting out by the parent or caretaker of the child of their negative or ambiguous feelings towards the child, resulting in some degree of emotional damage to the child. This kind of behaviour may consist of constant chastising, belittling, verbal tirades, ridicule, humiliation, or the out and out rejection of the child’s sense of self-worth and dignity.

•    Emotional Neglect:  This is the chronic or episodic withholding of necessary emotional care and support form the child, which result in some degree of emotional damage to the child. This kind of neglect might consist of withholding affection and love from the child; it might also include the withholding of affirmations of the child’s self-worth, trust and belongingness.  In extreme forms, emotional neglect can involve the complete withdrawal of any verbal and/or non-verbal interactions with the child, manifesting the complete rejection of the child.

•    Sexual Abuse:  This is the sexual exploitation of a child by a caretaker or other family member, or any adult, resulting in damage or injury to the child sexually, either psychologically or physically. Forms of sexual exploitation include behavior or a sexual nature, touching of a sexual nature and sexual intercourse.

5a) The Responsibility to Report

•    Public responsibility to report a child in need of protection  CFSA s.72(2)
    Every person who believes or suspects on reasonable grounds that a child is or may be in need of protection must report promptly the belief and the information upon which it is based to a Children’s Aid Society.

•    Special responsibility imposed on professionals and officials to report abuse CFSA s.72(3)
    A professional or official who in the course of his/her duties with respect to a child has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is or may be suffering or may have suffered abuse shall report forthwith the suspicion and the information upon which it is based to a Children’s Air Society even if he/she has already reported a previous incident.

5b) What constitutes ‘abuse’ for the purpose of professional reporting? CFSA s.72(1)

A child suffers ‘abuse’ in any of the following circumstances:
•    The child has or is at risk to suffer physical harm and there is a pattern of neglect either inflicted by the person having charge of the child or caused by the person’s failure to adequately
o    Care and provide for the child, or
o    Supervise and protect the child;

•    The child has been or is at risk to likely be sexually molested or sexually exploited by the person having charge of the child, or by another person where the person having charge of the child:
o    Knows or should know of the possibility of sexual molestation or sexual exploitation, and
o    Fails to protect the child.

•    The child requires medical treatment to cure, prevent or alleviate physical harm or suffering, and the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child:
o    Does not provide treatment or
o    Refuses to provide treatment
o    Is unavailable to consent to treatment, or
o    Is unable to consent to the treatment

•    The child has or is likely to suffer emotional harm or there is a pattern of neglect by the parent or the person having charge of the child, demonstrated through the actions of the child as:
o    Serious anxiety, or
o    Sever depression, or
o    Serious withdrawal, or
o    Serious self-destructive or aggressive behavior, or
o    Seriously delayed development

•    And the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child:
o    Does not provide services or treatment to remedy or alleviate the harm,
o    Refuses to provide services or treatment
o    Is unavailable to consent to such services or treatment.
o    Is unable to consent to such services or treatment

•    The child has been abandoned, the child’s parent has died, or is unavailable to exercise his or her custodial rights over the child and has not made adequate provision for the child’s care and custody, or the child is in a residential placement and the parent refuses, or is unable, or unwilling to resume the child’s care and custody.

•    The child is less than 12 years old and has killed or seriously injured another person, or caused serious damage to another’s person’s property, services ands treatments are necessary to prevent a reoccurrence and the child’s parent or the person having charge of the child does not provide or refuses, or is unavailable or unable to consent to those services and treatments.


•    The child is less than 12 years of age and has on more than one occasion injured another person or caused loss or damage to another person’s property, with the encouragement of the person having charge of the child, or because of that person’s failure or inability to supervise the child adequately.

5c) Professional confidentiality CFSA s.72(3),(7),(8)
Should civil action be brought against a person who made a report, he/she will be protected unless he/she acted maliciously or without reasonable grounds for his/her belief or suspicion.

6.  HOW TO REPORT

6a) Reporting abuse:  An alleged victim less than eighteen years of age, and alleged perpetrator not acting on behalf of the church.
    Any report of abuse by a child to a Sunday School teacher, person on the pastoral staff or other member of the church will be reported to the local Children’s Aid Society (CAS). The report will be made immediately by the person who was initially proved with the information. If there is doubt as to the validity of the information, the report wills till be made to the CAS. The decision to investigate the report will be made by the CAS.

When a Sunday School teacher, person on the pastoral staff or other members of the church has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child may be suffering from abuse or is at risk to suffer abuse, the person who suspects the abuse will report to the CAS with the information immediately. The decision to investigate will be made by the CAS.

6b) Reporting abuse:  An alleged victim less than 18 years of age, and alleged perpetrator acting on behalf of the church (Sunday School teacher, person on the pastoral staff, etc.)

A report of abuse within the church will be reported directly to the Children’s Aid Society immediately by the person who receives the information. IF there is doubt as to the validity of the information, the CAS will be notified and the decision to investigate will be left there.   

When someone in the church suspects that someone who is acting on behalf of the church in a leadership role is behaving abusively towards a child or children, the person with the suspicion will directly report it to the CAS. The CAS will make the decision for further investigation.

The individual who receives the information of abuse from a child or alleged victim, or suspects another person of abuse will then also contact either the chairperson of the Board of Directors or a member of the pastoral staff.  The person who has been contacted will then arrange a meeting with the rest of the above-mentioned people. If it is appropriate to the situation, the Youth Education Director will also be invited to the meeting. This group will meet to assess whether or not it is appropriate for the alleged perpetrator to continue in his/her role with the church at that time.

Any further discussion with the parties involved will be done under the direction of the investigating body (CAS).

6c) Reporting abuse:  Alleged victims eighteen years of age or older.

The individual who receives the information will encourage the alleged victim to access counseling and protection through the local police and pastoral or counseling services.  No one will be informed of the allegations without the consent of the alleged victim. The church will listen to and support the alleged victim but will not take action outside of the church on his/her behalf; that is, the alleged victim must be the individual to lay charges with the police, but the church will provide physical and emotional support during this time if requested.

If the incident involves an alleged perpetrator acting on behalf of the church (Sunday School teachers, pastors, etc.) the alleged victim will be informed of the church policy to assess the appropriateness of the alleged perpetrators continuing role in his/her role in the church.  This assessment will be made at a meeting of the Board of Directors, the Youth Education Director and the pastoral staff.  With the knowledge of the alleged victim, one of the above people will be informed for the purpose of contacting the remaining people and coordinating a meeting.

6d) Reporting Accidents/Injuries

Occasionally, during the course of regular program activities injury occurs. These may be minor or major in nature.  After appropriate support and assistance is given to the injured child or leader, a written Incident Investigation Report (pink – sample page 13) should be filled out by the program coordinator or appropriate person on the pastoral staff. A description of the incident, contributing factors and the treatment given should be noted. Witnesses to the incident should be listed with addresses and phone numbers for follow-up purposes.

The Incident Investigation Reports should be reviewed by the Board of Directors.  A member of the Board should be appointed to investigate the incident and bring recommendations back to the Board to prevent a recurrence of the accident. These Reports are to be kept in the church office for future reference.    TOC


  APPENDIX OF FORMS
                  
                     
ATTENDANCE                    
                     
Final Evaluations Completed and Collected?                    
Key Returned to Office?                    
Turn in this sheet at end of event or class series