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Safe Environments For Flourishing of Youth and Other Vulnerable Persons (SEFFY):

a resolution regarding

periodic evaluation, revision, supplementation, and sharing of relevant resources

Whereas the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (the Communion) understands itself to be a Communion of Communities seeking justice and inclusivity through our Catholic Christian traditions;

Whereas this self-understanding is, in part, expressed through our creation and maintenance of safe environments for human flourishing, particularly as pertains to those most vulnerable;

Whereas the most vulnerable include youth (here understood as people who have not yet reached age of legal majority), as well as vulnerable adults, and persons in situations of relative vulnerability associated with role-related power dynamics, intersecting social systems of privilege and oppression, and/or other personal circumstance;

Whereas eight years have passed since the Communion, in Synod 2012, affirmed a resource, Proposed Code of Ethical Conduct, that deals, in large part, with matters relevant to safe environments for flourishing of youth and other vulnerable persons (SEFFY);

Whereas among our ecumenical partners, ways of creating and maintaining safe environments for flourishing of youth and vulnerable others are evolving over the years and in the course of events, such as the present pandemic;

Therefore, be it Resolved,


That the Communion:

  1. Convenes a Safe Environments For Flourishing of Youth and Other Vulnerable Persons (SEFFY) two-year collaborative to assist the Communion by studying these matters, reporting findings, and offering recommendations through a process that includes and is not limited to the steps outlined in 3.(a)(b)(c)(d);

  2. Issues a general call to all laity and clergy of the Communion for volunteers to serve in the SEFFY collaborative;

  3. Authorizes and entreats the SEFFY collaborative to take the following steps:

    1. Formally survey all communities, ministries, and programs in the Communion as to their experiences and recommendations with regard to SEFFY-related resources;

    2. Compile information on SEFFY steps the Communion is already taking, and review the alignment of these steps with current best practices in the specific area of safe environments;

    3. Research SEFFY resources and standards of practice among ecumenical partners of the Communion, with an eye to collaborative potentials; and

    4. Report findings and recommendations, derived from (a), (b), and (c) to the 2022 Holy Synod of the Communion.

  4. Commits to ritually commission the SEFFY collaborative within a liturgical context; and

  5. Commits to convening a new SEFFY collaborative at least every ten years to evaluate and recommend updates of SEFFY resources and practices.


Endorsed by members of the SEFFY resolution working group as follows:

Fr. Mike Bober
Pastor of Emmaus Ecumenical Catholic Community in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Chairperson for the House of Pastors
Joan Crawford, Deacon, Guardian Angels ECC

Elaine Groppenbacher LCSW MDiv
Guardian Angels Catholic Community

Fr. Teri Harroun
Light of Christ Ecumenical Catholic Community
Longmont, CO

Rev Delores J Kropf, Pastor, Vicar
St Michael the Archangel Ecumenical Catholic Church
Southwest Region

Rev. Kae Madden, Pastor, Church of the Beloved Ecumenical Catholic Community
Chaplain Deacon1 Mir Plemmons, Emmaus ECC, Diocese of Pacific Northwest

Rev. Denise A. Roberts
Church of the Healing Shepherd

Tim Rooney
St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Community
Parish Council president

Marisa Werner
St Michael the Archangel Ecumenical Catholic Church
assisting priest
1 Scheduled ordination 3 October 2020.

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