X
The office is closed to the public due to COVID-19. Our staff is continuing to work, mostly from home. We are available by phone and email.

Healthy Boundaries

NorthCarolinaSynod_Brandmark

The church should be a safe place where people can worship, learn, work, love, and receive care. For the sake of God’s mission and ministry in and through the North Carolina Synod, we are committed to the formation of whole and healthy leaders and to the nurturing of vital congregations. This commitment includes the expectation that all active rostered leaders regularly receive Boundary Training. Of particular importance are boundaries related to professional ethics, finances, use of social media, the prevention of sexual misconduct, boundaries concerning gender and harassment, and boundaries concerning racial justice.

NC Synod Boundary Training Policy

In March 2017, the NC Synod adopted the following policy regarding Boundary Training:

"All rostered ministers of the NC Synod (Ministers of Word and Sacrament and Ministers of Word and Service) are expected to complete an initial Basic Boundary Training followed by an additional training every three years. Training that will meet this requirement will be offered at least annually by the synod…

All rostered ministers are expected to be current on boundary training when completing mobility forms or seeking a new call. Rostered ministers who wish to be available for appointments to interim ministry, extended supply, or for supply through the synod office are also expected to be up-to-date with training."

NC Synod Council — March 18, 2017

Rostered ministers in the NC Synod will receive an email notification the year they are due to have Boundary Training. Stay tuned to Synod E-News (subscribe in the footer) and this webpage for information about additional boundary trainings to be held across the synod .

NC Synod Basic Boundaries Training: 2021

Basic Boundary Training is a comprehensive, initial session designed for rostered ministers in their First Call or who have newly transferred to the NC Synod.

  • 2021 Session(s) TBD

 

 

 

 

 

NC Synod Boundaries Resource Days: 2021

Boundary Resource Days are training sessions designed for rostered ministers who have already completed Basic Boundary Training and are due for additional training after three years.

Topics covered include Leaving Well, Finances, Social Media, and Harassment, among others.

  • Tuesday, February 9 — Via Zoom
  • Monday, April 19 — Via Zoom
  • Thursday, July 1 — Via Zoom
  • Thursday, September 21 — Location TBD

Register for scheduled sessions here.

NC Synod Staff Contacts for Boundaries Training

Sara Ilderton

Assistant to the Bishop; contact for sexual misconduct and professional ethics

Michael DeNise

Director of Finance and Administration; contact for financial issues

Carissa Abraham

Assistant for Boundaries; contact with questions about registering for boundary training

Boundary Violations

Boundary violations are considered misconduct. Misconduct occurs in a variety of categories. Three with which the church regularly deals are: Financial Misconduct, Sexual Misconduct, and Social Misconduct.

Explore each of these areas more in the following tabs.

Financial misconduct involves embezzlement, fraud, misuse of funds, lack of internal controls, and conflicts of interest.

All forms of sexual misbehavior (Affairs, harassment, solicitation, sexual abuse) by clergy and lay leaders with church members are unacceptable within the life of the church. The church should be a safe place where people can worship, learn, work, love and receive care in a manner that is free from sexual misconduct.

Because the church is called to be a safe place, this synod intends to take whatever measures it can to help prevent sexual abuse and misconduct within the synod.

Click to review the synod's sexual misconduct policy.

Harassment & Social Misconduct includes things such as racism, gender-based discrimination, physical and/or verbal abuse, derogatory language, macro- and micro-aggressions. The NC Synod takes this misconduct seriously and requires that all rostered ministers of this synod participate regularly in training which addresses not only sexual and financial misconduct, but also Racial Sensitivity and Gender-Based Sensitivity.

Healthy Boundaries Policies & Resources

  • View All
  • Healthy Boundaries
  • Policies
  • Reporting Misconduct

Healing in Congregations After Clergy Sexual Abuse

A resource to assist synodical leaders and local congregations. This resource is offered to synodical bishops and their staffs, to other clergy and lay leaders, interims and “after pastors,” including those who will provide on-site leadership for a period of time in congregations after the incidence of clergy sexual abuse.

Visit Link

ELCA Report Misconduct

Visit the ELCA website for additional reporting resources including a drop down menu on who to contact in synods and congregations to report a misconduct.

Visit Link

Safe Sanctuaries

Safe Sanctuaries: Reducing the Risk of Child Abuse in the Church by Joy Thornburg Melton.
This 80-page book provides guidance to help develop policies and procedures for reducing the risk of child abuse in the church. The book defines the scope of child abuse, outlines the different types of abuse, notes the indicators of abuse, discusses the legal requirements for reporting abuse, and provides guidelines for screening and hiring workers and volunteers. The book also outlines basic procedures of safe ministry with children and youth and outlines a congregational plan for responding to allegations of abuse. Sample forms included for screening workers, requiring background checks, doing reference checks and reporting suspected abuse. A suggested training session plan for people who work with children and youth is outlined, and a bibliography of suggested resources is included.

Visit Link

Cherish All Children

An ELCA ministry that equips congregations to prevent child sexual exploitation. The heart of this ministry lies in congregations, where staff, leaders, and members pray, educate, connect with others, and act on behalf of children within and outside their congregations.  The website has tips, practical examples and a suggested structure for developing a Cherish All Children team. It also has resources for safe church policies, prayer booklets, books, and Internet resources.

Visit Link

NC Synod Staff Contacts for Reporting Misconduct

The following synod staff are available to receive reports.

Main Telephone

Dial for extensions

Bishop Tim Smith

Extension 9555

The Rev. Sara Ilderton

Extension 9556

Deacon Tammy Jones West

828-308-1362

The Rev. Phil Tonnesen

Extension 9558

The Rev. CeCee Mills

Extension 9563

Michael DeNise

Extension 9562 — For financial misconduct

Healthy Boundaries for Congregations

WholenessWheel_260x295

Wholeness Wheel

Living well is a personal journey that presents each of us with unique opportunities to steward our gifts in all dimensions of our lives. It is up to us to tend these dimensions of our well-being so we may live as resilient people for the sake of the world.

The Wholeness Wheel is increasingly used by ELCA individuals and organizations as an important learning and discernment tool. It illustrates that wellness is multi-dimensional — made up of spiritual, vocational, intellectual, emotional, physical, social, and financial dimensions of well-being. Spiritual well-being is intertwined with and influences our well-being in all other dimensions.

Creating Resilient Leaders: From Portico Benefits

Because Resilient Leaders Shape Healthy Faith Communities

When our leaders are healthy, our churches are stronger. As congregations and as professionals in ministry, we work together to support well-being.

We Each Play a Role

Healthy, resilient leaders shape healthy, resilient faith communities. This ELCA core belief explains the enduring partnership between ELCA organizations, their leaders, and Portico Benefit Services. As one community, we're called to strengthen ministry. Guiding church documents point to the critical role we each play:

  • Congregation members and organizations are called upon to provide their leaders with sustainable livelihoods as well as time to tend their well-being.
  • Leaders are expected to tend their well-being in all dimensions of the Wholeness Wheel, the ELCA's wellness symbol and discernment tool.
  • Portico is responsible for providing cost-effective benefits, resources, and inspiration to help leaders strengthen their financial, emotional, and physical well-being.

Signs of a Healthy Leader

Our churches are stronger when God's people are good stewards of the lives God has given them. When our leaders tend their well-being, they model strength, courage, vulnerability, compassion, and grace.

  • A healthy leader is comfortable talking about money.
  • A healthy leader cares for themselves emotionally and physically.
  • A healthy leader knows there is strength in vulnerability.
  • A healthy leader speaks openly about their life.

Do Some Personal Reflection

Abundant life means striving for health of body, mind, money, and spirit. Can you name something you're doing to show up as an example of wellness for your congregation?

Take a look at the Signs of A Healthy Leader PDF. Review the concrete ways leaders who tend their physical, emotional, and financial well-being might find strength for ministry. Then spend a few minutes reflection on the questions found on the second page.

Best Practices for Congregation Councils and Officers

Visit the synod page for resources and events here.

Scroll to Top