The basic principles of conduct guiding this policy are as follows:
Sexual misconduct is a violation of the role of pastors, employees, volunteers, counselors, supervisors, teachers, and advisors of any kind who are called upon to exercise integrity, sensitivity, and caring in a trust rela-tionship. It breaks the covenant to act in the best interests of parishioners, clients, co-workers, and students.
Sexual misconduct is a misuse of authority and power that breaches Christian ethical principles by misusing a trust relation to gain advantage over another for personal pleasure in an abusive, exploitative, and unjust manner. If the parishioner, student, client, or employee initiates or invites sexual content in the relationship, it is the pastor’s, counselor’s, officer’s, or supervisor’s responsibility to maintain the appropriate role and prohibit a sexual relationship.
Sexual misconduct takes advantage of the vulnerability of persons who are less powerful to act for their own welfare, including children. It is antithetical to the gospel call to work as God’s servant in the struggle to bring wholeness to a broken world. It violates the mandate to protect the vulnerable from harm.