Boundaries Training


In keeping with its Highest Ideals, the Missouri Annual Conference provided continuing education for all appointed part-time and full-time clergy and laity serving under appointment in the area of boundaries and clergy sexual ethics. This training offered clergy the opportunity to stand in opposition to the sin of sexual misconduct within the Church through education and discernment with colleagues.
The training was planned and supervised by the leadership of the Cabinet, assisted by representatives of the laity, the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the Conference staff. Attendance was mandatory for anyone under appointment. 
The sessions were held at Manchester UMC, Trinity UMC (Moberly), Woods Chapel UMC (Lee’s Summit), Wesley UMC (Springfield) and New McKendree UMC (Jackson). 

Topics Covered

“What are boundaries?”; power and sexual boundaries; boundaries regarding gifts; boundaries for using social media; boundaries for dating; friendship and dual relationships; boundaries for the pulpit; transference and use of touch and intimacy; boundaries for managing conflicts; and boundaries for self-care.

In addition, there was a brief session on the updated statutes in the state of Missouri related to mandatory reporting.
The instructor for the day was the Rev. Donna Rose-Heim. Rose-Heim is a graduate of Saint Paul School of Theology, ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served as a congregational minister, judicatory minister or interim transitional pastor since 1986. She has been teaching boundaries and sexual ethics for clergy and laity since 2009. She is the lead Boundaries instructor for the Mid-America Center for Ministry.

Boundary Book Resources

Saying No to Say Yes: Everyday Boundaries and Pastoral Excellence by David Olsen and Nancy G. Devor is an essential guide for pastors seeking to avoid the dual pitfalls of entanglement in congregational drama and burnout. It provides pastors concrete guidance on how to draw boundaries that facilitate community engagement while still maintaining the crucial distance that fosters enduring leadership.
Healthy Disclosure: Solving Communication Quandaries in Congregations by Kibbie Simmons Ruth (Author), Karen A. McClintock discuss the ways knowledge is shared in a congregation that can build up or break down community. Unfortunately, congregations can easily fall into patterns of communication that lead to disastrous interpersonal and organizational outcomes. Even in times of crisis, however, congregations can learn and practice new skills and healthy communication management.
Sex in the Parish by Karen Lebacqz and Ronald Barton examines the gift of sexuality in relation to the parish and the dynamics of sexual desire and temptation. Included in this book are the experiences of a pastor who did not set appropriate limits; explanations of how the pastoral role affects sexual contact between pastor and parishioner; suggestions for a framework of ethical analysis; an examination of questions for women in ministry, single pastors, and pastors who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual; and a review of ethical issues related to persons who carry responsibilities for the structures of ministerial practice.
Caring Enough to Confront: How to Understand and Express Your Deepest Feelings Toward Others by David Augsburger is a classic in Christian peacemaking. It teaches the reader how to build trust, cope with blame and prejudice, and be honest about anger and frustration. He offers a biblically based model for dealing with conflict to teach Christians how to confront with compassion and resolve issues in a healthy and healing way.
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