Our Commitment to Safety
SSUC endeavors to provide a safe environment for spiritual gatherings, social and learning events, and all activities it sponsors. We seek to ensure that all staff, volunteers and ministry personnel who work with vulnerable individuals share this commitment in showing respect for all persons and their boundaries, protecting others from harm and abuse and enabling those in our care to learn and grow without fear of exploitation.
We have a legal, ethical and spiritual duty to care for and protect all who participate in our programs. We commit to act with due diligence to provide a safe space for all, and especially for our most vulnerable participants.
Families, children, youth, seniors and all persons can participate at SSUC, knowing that we are doing our best to ensure that this is a safe place, with safe leaders and volunteers, trained and prepared to take on the trust and responsibility that our participants place in us.
In February of 2015, we strengthened this commitment by enacting our Policy and Code of Conduct for the Protection of Vulnerable Individuals. Please feel welcome to view Southminster-Steinhauer’s Policy and Code of Conduct for Protection of Vulnerable Individuals – March 2015.
Under this policy, all of our staff and volunteers who work with vulnerable individuals are trained, screened and prepared for their role of trust within the life of our community. If you have any questions about this policy or would like to apply to be a volunteer in one of our programs, please contact the church office or a member of the Ministry Team.
Our Commitment to Outreach and Social Justice
SSUC has always been committed to providing leadership in deepening awareness and engaging in meaningful action that responds to social justice issues locally, nationally and globally. We aim to raise the consciousness of the community by encouraging study and discussion of important issues, problems and needs, followed by recommending ways that we might respond appropriately through action, advocacy and/or service. SSUC is committed to working with community agencies, service and programs as a way to partner and bring the best of who we are together with skilled professionals working in the areas of justice, social service and on-the-ground action.
Some examples of our work in this area include refugee sponsorships, support of programs in local elementary schools, staffing our volunteer Food Bank Depot, preparing tax returns to help low income citizens, our 40-year commitment to the Southern Homes Society providing needed housing for Indigenous women, and children and families in need, and the many other agencies supported and gifted with recent grants in excess of $500,000. These are just a few of our partners below:
On January 31, 1999, our congregation embraced a new identity as an affirming congregation within the United Church of Canada! In doing so, we committed ourselves to be a community of authentic welcome, acceptance and safety for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual and heterosexual persons. We continue to celebrate the ways that our church community is enriched by the diversity and unique gifts each person brings who joins our journey and shares in our life and work. View and Download our Affirm Brochure
Our commitment is grounded in a vision of acceptance, inclusion and affirmation of the many diverse expressions of our common humanity including sexual orientation and gender identification. As an affirming community, we seek to:
- Explore and celebrate our spirituality together as people of every age, gender, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical ability, marital status, economic or cultural background.
- Communicate clearly that SSUC celebrates and affirms the inclusion of heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and transsexual persons, their families and friends with respect to church membership, celebrating life passages, including marriage, and leadership at all levels of the community.
SSUC is committed to promoting and embracing the aims and spirit of the Charter. We have pledged to join the global partnership for a just, sustainable, and peaceful world and to work for the realization of the values and the principles of the Earth Charter:
“Respect and Care for the Community of Life”
“Social and Economic Justice” and
“Democracy, Nonviolence, and Peace”
Our Earth Charter Team works to encourage and support individual and group actions by members and partners of the SSUC community to further these principles in our decision making, our financial and ethical commitments and in our daily life. For more details, visit www.earthcharter.org
SSUC is committed to honouring the long history of the Indigenous peoples of this land reaching beyond colonization. We seek to celebrate the significance of the traditions and history of this land for the Indigenous peoples who lived and continue to live upon the territory we now call home. We honour the practices and spiritualities that are tied to the land. As a member of the United Church of Canada, SSUC takes seriously its commitment to live out the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and to develop and strengthen our relationship to the people and nations with whom we share this time and place. Learn more about SSUC’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation.