New Fountain United Methodist Church
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.

Safe Gatherings

Safe Gatherings

At the 2017 Rio Texas Annual Conference, the new Safe Sanctuaries policies were adopted with an understanding that ALL Rio Texas churches will abide by these procedures by Annual Conference 2018.

There are new requirements for ALL adults that work with children, youth, and vulnerable adults in our church. This affects all staff and volunteers for Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Nursery, home-bound visitation, Seasoned Saints, etc.

The Conference is contracted with an organization called Safe Gatherings. When a person registers through Safe Gatherings, the certification process is started by doing a criminal background check, and if the volunteer will be driving, a national driving record check. The fees for these checks will be paid by the church.

The first segment of training, approximately 2 hours, is done on-line on the Safe Gatherings website. The remaining 2 to 3 hours of training can be done on-line through a webinar with the Conference Office, or in person at a designated training. The process to become certified through Safe Gatherings takes some time, which is why we want to start now with these new procedures.

This is how to start the process for certification:

• Go to and create a log-in. It will ask you for two personal references who are not related to you (immediate family), and for personal information for a background check, or driving check, if necessary.

• There is a $10 fee for the background check, which should be billed to the church. The fee for the driving check, needed only if you plan to drive children or youth, is $10.50, also billed to the church.

• Do the training on the Safe Gatherings website for abuse prevention (about 2 hours) and complete the quiz at the end.

• Then go to to register for the other three required modules. All the training can be done on-line; however, there are some live trainings offered. We plan to work with First UMC Hondo to provide a live training sometime later this year or early spring.

Please remember that we are committed as a congregation to provide a safe place for our children, youth, and vulnerable adults, as well as providing protection for our volunteers and staff. Thank you for your time and efforts! 

Additional forms that the church may ask you to complete are below:
Christian Servant Application Forms
 Code of Ethics Forms