New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

Safe Sanctuaries: Safe Sanctuaries

Reducing the Risk of Abuse in the Church for Children and Youth

Joy Thornburg Melton • September 2008

BUY Print $25.00

The Only Resource of Its Kind Is Now Two Bestsellers in One!

Tragically, churches have not always been safe places for children or youth or vulnerable adults.

With this in mind, attorney, pastor, and author Melton outlines a process for developing policies and procedures to recognize and reduce the risk of abuse in the church. Safe Sanctuaries combines and expands information from two of her earlier groundbreaking books, which focused, separately, on children and teens.

"Safe Sanctuaries is the most helpful resource I have found dealing with this troubling topic," says one minister. "Straightforward yet non-threatening, the information is helpful for all denominations and congregations of faith."

Practical guidance is provided in developing and implementing a substantive, holistic action plan of abuse prevention:

  • recruiting, screening and working with volunteers
  • training models for all who work with children, youth, and vulnerable adults
  • suggestions for congregational response to unthinkable allegations of abuse
  • order of worship celebrating the adoption of "Safe Sanctuaries" policies

Melton's transformative, relevant, and foundational resource will train leaders in what they need to know to stay safe and keep the vulnerable in their care safe.

This revised edition now features updated and timely information about protecting young people from online predators.

Categories: Children, Clergy & Laity, Youth
Rev. Joy Thornburg Melton, J.D., is the chief resource officer of The United Methodist Property and Casualty Trust. She is the author of the “Safe Sanctuaries” series of books and resources published by Discipleship Resources. Rev. Melton is a recognized national leader in the area of development of ministry protection and abuse prevention policies. A graduate of Pfeiffer University, Scarritt College, and Emory University School of Law, she is uniquely qualified to understand both the legal and ecclesial issues involved with cases of abuse within the church.

ISBN: 978-0-88177-543-3

Imprint: Discipleship Resources

Pub Date: September 2008

Trim Size: 8.25 in (w) x 10.625 in (h) x 0.347 in (d)

Page Count: 160

BISAC Categories: RELIGION / Christian Education / Children & Youth

BISAC1: REL091000



Safe Sanctuaries is the most helpful and practical resource I have found dealing with reducing the risk of child abuse in the church. In addition to background information which is straightforward but non-threatening to the reader, the book offers policies and sample documents which can be adapted by local congregations. All denominations and congregations of faith will find it helpful. -Barbara E. Jones, Regional Minister Little Rock, Arkansas