Screening in Faith
Screening in Faith is a program adopted by the Diocese of Algoma to help protect the people to whom we minister.
The Scriptures reveal a God who has special concern for those who are vulnerable or in need (Ex. 22.20-27; Is. 58.5-7; Matt. 18.6-7). Indeed, the Lord Jesus Christ identifies profoundly with such people, saying that what we do for them we do also for him (Matt. 25.31-40). Moreover, he describes them as the blessed ones of God’s Kingdom (Matt. 5.3-10; Matt. 19.14).
As a people bearing Christ’s name – formed to be a sign, instrument, and foretaste of the Kingdom – the Diocese of Algoma is committed to seeking and serving Christ in all persons, striving for justice and peace among them, and respecting the dignity of every human being (BAS, 159).
We place priority upon providing care and protection for those who are vulnerable through age, infirmity, or other circumstances of dependency, particularly in settings where we exercise ministry – church buildings, homes, institutions, and other places in the wider community.
We also consider it to be our responsibility to ensure, as much as possible, that the wellbeing and ministry of the church in the future is not undermined or impeded by a failure to uphold this sacred trust today.
At no time do we want anyone exercising ministry on our behalf to become a stumbling block or agent of harm to others. Rather, we desire for all that we do to share in the gathering work of Christ so that His newness of life overflows into our hearts, homes, churches, and community.
The Screening in Faith process, and the information and resources provided through this page, exist to help ensure the sacred trust described to the left is managed responsibly and safely.
The process was adopted by our Diocese at Synod 2003, in the form of Canon H-4. This Canon requires all Parishes and Deanery or Diocesan organizations (such as Deanery Youth Units) to screen volunteers in a manner appropriate to the level of risk in their ministry.
This Canon obligates each Parish to:
- Develop a Screening process
There are many resources available at Volunteer Canada to help you develop your process.
- Complete the Parish Participation Report
Parishes can access this form on the website, using the link Parish Reporting Form above. One copy of this form is included in the Annual Vestry Report of the Parish, a second copy is submitted to the Archdeacon of your Deanery, and the third copy is submitted to the Synod Office no later than February 28.
We recognize and give thanks that God has blessed our Diocese with many gifted and faithful clergy, parishioners, employees and volunteers. However, we must ensure that all those placed in positions of power, influence, and trust be selected, trained, and supported so that their ministries may be life-giving. In this manner, our Christian values are consistent with society’s legal concept of “duty of care.” While all Christians have a general obligation to conduct themselves in a manner that does not cause damage to other people or their property, the duty of care is most obvious where a relationship of dependence exists.
Only those who are recognized as having the appropriate gifts and character for a position are permitted to minister in that capacity. This practice of discernment greatly heightens the likelihood that recipients of the ministry, those exercising the ministry, and the church are kept safe from harm. Those who offer themselves for ministry must display an attitude of servanthood and be willing to be trained, mentored and possibly reassigned, as needs dictate.
Diocesan Canon on Screening in Faith: Canon (H-4)
For information or assistance, Please contact:
Everything Your Parish Needs
Deanery Youth Ministry Screening Forms
Volunteer Ministry Descriptions
The Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Algoma willingly shares these resources with anyone who may find them helpful. However, no responsibility will be taken for how these resources are used, interpreted or applied.