Sexual Ethics Response Team

The Sexual Ethics Response Team of the Wyoming Conference is a trained group of laity and clergy, set apart for the good of local churches that have been harmed by sexual misconduct by clergy or lay employees. In the aftermath of instances of misconduct, there are MANY victims! Not only does the individual(s) who has been directly effected suffer, but so does her/his family, the family of the alleged abuser, and ALL the people of the local church. Sexual misconduct by any person in power in the local church (especially the pastor) is a breech of many covenants. . . our covenants with God, marraige covenants, clergy-parishioner trust, etc. Most (if not all) persons in a church where this kind of event occurs, will experience some level of crisis in regards to their faith journey and future trust in clergy. The Sexual Ethics Task Force is trained to help all of the people who have been harmed to work through their pain, and find a healthy future together in the church.

The Wyoming Conference Safe Sanctuary program is designed to ensure that these kinds of abuses never happen, by reducing the risk for all involved in ministry together. However, we recognize that even with the best preventative measures in place, people in power sometimes overstep boundaries in ways that harm others. We also recognize the fact that we have not done a good enough job in the past, at dealing with the hurts caused by sexual ethics abuse. We hear God calling us to do a better job in the future!

The Wyoming Conference recently held a training event for eight persons who have agreed to serve on a Sexual Ethics Task Force. Further training and organizational meetings are taking place this fall in order to assure that a team will be ready the next time an instance of sexual boundary-crossing occurs. The Team will have representation from all four districts to ensure that there are persons living near enough to be of some long-term help to congregations in trouble. The Team will be at the disposal of the Bishop and Cabinet whenever they feel such ministry will assist a church.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this Sexual Ethics Response Team, please call Rev. David Masland, cabinet representative on the Safe Sanctuaries Task Force. If you know of a church that is still suffering over past abuse and you think the Sexual Ethics Response Team might be of some help to them now, please do not hesitate to ask about that as well. Rev. Masland can be reached at 607-748-0662; or by e-mail at [email protected].