Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct for St. Raphael’s Church

Youth Ministry

 We are pleased to have you as a participant in our Youth Ministry!  Whether you are a member of St. Raphael’s Youth group or a guest, our youth group policy of conduct is based on the expectation that we will conduct ourselves in a Christian manner during all activities and classroom settings (i.e. peer ministry, riding in vehicles, at restaurants, retreats, service projects, rehearsals and all church events.)

All Youth Group Members are here to develop and explore a growing relationship with Jesus: students and Confirmation Candidates as well as members of Core and Retreat teams, Peer Ministers and, “Stations” cast members. As per our Mission Statement and listed in Youth Group rules, as well as all packets provided for team training purposes the following is a statement of conduct to be read and understood and agreed upon by your signature and that of your parents:

  1. Respect, listen to, and cooperate with the youth director and all adult leaders at all times.  Respect the facility that we are using for the Ministry/Event (the Youth House, Church or Classrooms). ALL Students that are involved in the act of breaking something will be expected to repair/replace the damaged item(s) at their expense, NO EXCEPTIONS!
  2. Respect each person and all property. Bullying will NOT be tolerated under any circumstances.  We are committed to a safe and civil environment for ALL students, youth group members, employees, volunteers and visitors, free from harassment, intimidation or bullying.  This means any intentional written (including all aspects of the social network), verbal, or physical act that:
    • Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property; or
    • Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education, youth group meeting experience or peer ministry responsibilities
    • Is severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening environment; or
    • Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the ministry or event.

    Harassment, intimidation or bullying can take many forms including: slurs, rumors, jokes, innuendo’s, demeaning comments, drawing cartoons, pranks, gestures, physical attacks, threats, or other written, oral or physical actions.

  3. Reflect a Christian attitude in all personal relationships between teens during all youth activities, as well as the public eye.   Inappropriate Public Displays of Affection (PDA) such as kissing, cuddling, or any action sexual in nature, etc. are NOT permitted during any Youth Ministry activity or event.
  4. Refrain from using profanity, exhibiting improper behavior, using alcohol or illegal substances and possessing drugs and/or weapons. (Note: If you need to take a medication, it must be brought in by a parent/guardian and given to the youth leader with a note of permission to dispense.)
  5. Wear modest, appropriate clothing at all times.  Inappropriate words, symbols, cigarette, or alcohol advertisements should not be displayed on clothing.
  6. Will not leave the supervisory presence of the youth ministry staff without permission – i.e. leaving the youth meeting, leaving the church, leaving the group during trips, etc. Failure to comply can jeopardize the safety of yourself, others, leaders, or the group. This can result in your being sent home from an activity at Parent/Guardian expense.

Failure to comply with our Statement of Conduct: 

STEP ONE:

When behavior contrary to our statement of conduct first occurs, the adult observing the behavior, or to whom the behavior is reported, shall address the person(s) responsible with a clear request that the behavior be stopped, changed, or avoided.  The adult must use judgment as to whether or not the individual(s) knowingly behaved in a manner inconsistent with our youth group statement of conduct.  The severity of the problem behavior may require that this step be bypassed and the next step be applied.

STEP TWO:

If another or the same behavior contrary to our statement occurs involving the same person(s) above, especially when it is considered to be occurring in a destructive, attention-getting or belligerent fashion, then a second warning will be given and the parent(s) will be notified by the youth leader and advised of the situation regarding their child.   The youth director will bring the individual(s) name(s)to the attention of the St. Raphael’s Pastoral staff by written form. Parent(s) will be notified by phone/email/mail if deemed appropriate at that time.

NOTE: even if the youth(s) agrees to change the behavior at this point, the youth(s) may be given a cooling off period from youth activities for up to two weeks. The youth director has the discretion as to whether to proceed in this way or to move to the third step of action immediately.

STEP THREE:

Should there be a third problem behavior contrary to our Statement of Conduct identified, the parent(s) will be called immediately and asked to come and get their youth and the youth suspended from all Youth Ministry activities for at least one month.  A conference will be scheduled for the youth director, co-leader(s) a Pastoral Staff member, parent(s) and the youth(s) involved, to resolve the conflict.  The church leadership reserves the right to send home person(s) who are intentionally oppositional or repeatedly refuse to follow the Statement of Conduct policy mentioned above for any Church or Youth event.

CONTACT US:

If there is Question/Conflict about the implementation of the Conduct Code, Please contact the Parish Office. The Youth Ministry, in conjunction with the St. Raphael’s staff in consultation with the Archdiocese of Newark, believe strongly in dealing with conflict in a Christian manner based on Matthew 5:23-25, which tells us to handle matters quickly and directly with the person in question.