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Safe Gatherings at Manchester UMC

We follow a practice called “Safe Gatherings” (formerly known as “Safe Sanctuary”) to help ensure the safety of minors and vulnerable adults as well as our staff and volunteers. It is our practice that volunteers provide relevant personal information, undergo a background screening, successfully complete online child safety training and receive  recommendations from two references before they can serve with minors or vulnerable adults.

Become Safe Gatherings/Sanctuary Certified

Once you have successfully completed the above steps and your two references have responded, you’ll be contacted by a ministry leader to discuss the ministry you have chosen and serving opportunities. After you are Safe Gatherings/Sanctuary Certified and ready to begin serving, you will receive a Safe Gatherings/Sanctuary Name Badge. Please wear this badge whenever you are serving with minors or vulnerable adults.

Renew Your Safe Gatherings/Sanctuary Certification

Safe Gatherings/Sanctuary certifications are typically renewed every three years. If your certification expires, you will not be able to serve with minors or vulnerable adults until it is renewed. You will be notified when it is time to renew your Safe Gatherings certification (if you are actively serving) and you will be asked to complete the above steps.

Questions or Concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about the Safe Gatherings/Sanctuary practices of Manchester UMC, please contact the Safe Gatherings Administrator, Pastor Andy Blacksher.


Reporting Alleged Abuse or Neglect

If you witness abuse or neglect taking place, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Any person with the responsibility for the care of children is a mandated reporter. Missouri law states that if such caregiver has reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or may be subjected to abuse or neglect, or observes a child being subjected to conditions or circumstances that would result in abuse or neglect, that person shall immediately report or cause a report to be made to the Division of Family and Social Services (DSS). The 24 hour toll-free hotline number is 1-800-392-3738. For more information, definitions and guidance on whether to make a report, please visit the Division of Social Services website.

Any allegations of abuse or neglect occurring during a church-sponsored activity, event or program, must be reported immediately to the staff member or ministry leader responsible for the activity, event or program. Staff members and ministry leaders will immediately notify Pastor Andy Blacksher of any allegations of abuse or neglect.

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Construction Update

The historic chapel elevator was disabled by a lightning strike on May 8th. The elevator was repaired on June 4 and is ready for use! A roofing company will be removing and replacing two sections of flat roof above the sanctuary roof over the next couple of weeks. These repairs

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Pastor's Note

What’s the point of the Sabbath?

Dear Friends at Manchester UMC,      I was the supervisor of United Methodist churches in the St. Louis area for eight years. In that capacity, I worshipped in a different church every Sunday. Without exception, every church I visited proclaimed that they were a friendly church. But as a visitor,

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