Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: Who is the presenter?

A: The guest speaker and workshop leader will be Becky Posey Williams from the The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Prior to coming to GCSRW, Becky worked for 24 years as a Licensed Mental Health Therapist in private practice in Jackson, MS. She served as a trainer/consultant with the Mississippi and Alabama/West Florida Conferences of the UMC in the areas of response to sexual misconduct and healthy boundaries. Williams received a Bachelor of Social Work from Mississippi State University in 1979 and the Master of Social Work from University of Southern Mississippi in 1981. Prior to private practice, she worked for the Mississippi Chapter of the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse eventually becoming the Executive Director.

Q: Does this satisfy the New York and Connecticut yearly state training requirements?

A: Yes; a certificate will be issued at the completion of the training. Attendance verification will be assured periodically throughout the training to award a certificate.

Q: How is this different from the New York and Connecticut state training?

A: In addition to covering the specifics regarding sexual harassment this addresses the particular needs of the ministerial setting. Ms. Williams strongly recommends face to face training for all clergy. She also emphasizes that "most of the current research acknowledges the importance of good self-care as a predictor in one’s ability to set healthy boundaries. It is understood that if boundaries are not set to attain self-care, then boundaries may not be set in other relationships in one’s life." She includes this in our training and clearly discusses the importance of maintaining integrity in ministry.

Q: How is this different from the training I took previously?

A: The Sexual Ethics and Boundaries Task Force has worked diligently for a year to update the training so that it is relevant to the current climate. Our hope is to create a culture in the New York Annual Conference which encourages healthy boundaries and where all are safe and in which all know the processes to report harassment and abuse. In order to accomplish this we must all, laity and clergy alike, not only be trained in this but to live it.

Q: Where can I find the Sexual Ethics and Boundaries policy?

A: The Task Force has also worked on updating the policy. As soon as it is completed it will be posted on the NYAC website.

Q: Who is required to attend the training?

A: All clergy, whether Local Pastor, Elder, in parish or extension ministry, part or full time. We also recommend all laity, particularly those who are in Leadership positions to attend.

Q: Are you sure that all clergy need to take this training? I am very busy and wonder if this is the best use of my time.

A: Not only are all clergy expected to take this training, we explicitly ask the District Superintendents to take this training as well, to better lead while promoting a safe environment and structured accountability within each district. During this busiest time of the year, making a priority of sexual ethics and professional boundaries helps safe ministerial practices become part of the fabric of our culture.

Q: How will this training improve my ministry?

A: Most of the current research acknowledges the importance of good self-care as a predictor in one’s ability to set healthy boundaries. It is understood that if boundaries are not set to attain self-care, then boundaries may not be set in other relationships in one’s life. We include this in our training and clearly discuss the importance of maintaining integrity in ministry.

Q: I am a lay person and can not attend daytime training. Will another be offered?

A: The Task Force is working on creating more training opportunities for laity at more convenient times.

Q: I already took the New York or Connecticut training, do I still need to attend?

A: Yes, since this is a yearly training, taking this training will satisfy your 2021 requirements; and as mentioned earlier this is a more comprehensive training geared specifically towards the particular needs of those working in ministry.

Go here to download and print a copy of frequently asked questions for this training