Safe Place Policy

More and more every day we as a society are made aware of the need for safe, non-threatening havens where our children can be nurtured and respected, valued and protected. The violence in schools, in streets, and even in homes is ever increasing, and it is children who are most often the unwitting victims of crime, guns, neglect and physical and sexual abuse. We as Christian people must recognize our role and our responsibility not only as parents and teachers of children, but also as protectors and defenders of children while they are in our care.

Our Church Staff is, and always has been, committed to making our Learning Center a safe place for children. When we built the addition to the Learning Center in 1988, careful measures were taken in the design of the classrooms. Those safety measures are:

  • each classroom door has a window in it
  • the classroom tables are placed in the center of the room
  • no child is left unattended in the classroom
  • no child is permitted to leave the class room unaccompanied
  • first aid kits are standard provision in each class room
  • a well-established policy of two teachers per classroom is in place
  • children are not released from the classroom at the end of the hour until parents retrieve them
  • children are periodically provided with lessons that teach respect and the highest regard for themselves and their bodies, and for others’ bodies as well
  • every week the children have large group worship, where all are together in one room whether it be Farnum Hall (“Circle Time”) or the Sanctuary (“Children’s Time”).
  • children are invited to share their joys, concerns, and fears.

In 1998, the National UCC wrote a “safe place” policy for the protection and safety of children in the local church, and many churches across the country have already adopted it. Although the policy includes some of the same precautions we have already taken, it is much more intensive and less informal.  In formalizing and “shoring up” our policy, the following standards are — and will remain — in place:

  • Every volunteer teacher, nursery caregiver, camp counselor, and youth leader will be asked to complete a very brief, confidential, volunteer covenant. Please do not be offended or frightened by such a policy — our goal is to allay fears, not create them, and we are asking your support and cooperation in this effort.
  • We will enforce the practice of two teachers per classroom. If a class does not have a second teacher, we will combine that class with another that is fully covered.
  • No child is permitted to wander the church unaccompanied during hours of worship.
  • Every classroom has emergency evacuation procedures and an evacuation map posted with instructions for escape.  Fire drills are held on a regular basis.
  • A variety of up-to-date resource materials with regard to safety skills, warning signs of abuse, volunteer screening, and anti-violent behavior strategies will be maintained in the Learning Center Resource Room.


Making our church a safe place for all children is a ministry of which each one of us should be proud to be a part. Any questions or concerns any church member has should be directed to Patricia Berry, Coordinator for Children and Youth Ministries, or our Pastor, the Reverend R. Joseph Tripp.


rev. 9/1/09

What People are Saying

We love this church because of the loving and family atmosphere. The children's program is the best - our children look forward to coming to church. — Lisa
Our church is very special. While we are a community of worshipers, we are also a community of friends and family. Anyone is welcome to join our family and that is a beautiful thing. — Noah, Age 16
I like coloring with my friends during Sunday School. — Violet, Age 7
We have had 17 moves. Every time we came back to Newport we were welcomed as though we had never been away. — Debby, Age 79
This church has a warm and friendly staff and membership. It's like a second home for me. — Curt, Age 84
I found a loving and caring family when I joined the church! — John, Age 54
The trucks in the nursery are fun to play with. — Kevin, Age 6
As part of this congregation, I appreciate our pastor and teacher, Rev. Joe Tripp.... — Mary, Age 59
I like that when Sunday School is over we go have something to eat. — Matt, Age 12
I have fun playing games while I learn about Jesus. — Nik, Age 10
Sunday Morning Worship Schedule: Worship: 10:00 - 11:00
Sunday School: 10:00 - 11:00
Fellowship Time: 11:00 +