Ethical Behaviour Policy
Victor Harbor Lutheran Church abides by the following statement of Ethical Behaviour
that was adopted from the national Lutheran Churches of Australia (LCA) Ethical Behaviour policy.
God created the church to continue his work on earth. The task of the church is to celebrate love and life and to be the vehicle for God’s continued work of bringing love to life in the world. The church lives on the gifts of God – God’s forgiveness, God’s love, God’s own life. In its worship, the church experiences the love of God in words and actions of forgiveness and of empowerment. Infused with the real presence of Jesus Christ, love comes decisively to life every time the people of God gather.
The life of a Christian is a life of faith active in love, empowered by the love of Christ himself. Indeed we have no other obligation, except to participate in this world transforming gift of God’s love.Love changes people. The experience of being loved brings with it a kind of newness that brings out the best in us. We become more open to the gifts of life and the needs of others, and we live in a new way, a renewed way. Love brings life.
In our personal behaviour we demonstrate God’s love by:
- setting a good example of Christian living
- treating each other with dignity and respect
- being courteous, kind and compassionate in our words and actions
- not abusing people (including members of our family), verbally, physically, emotionally, sexually or spiritually
- acting responsibly in potentially addictive activities which may cause harm to our family, such as abuse of alcohol, addictive substances or gambling
- refraining from engaging in, viewing or possessing pornographic materials; and
- cultivating a lifestyle of reconciliation.
In our pastoral caring we demonstrate God’s love by:
- ensuring that our caring ministry is for the benefit of the other and not for ourselves
- maintaining appropriate boundaries keeping appropriate records and storing them securely
- maintaining privacy in regards to our pastoral care, ensuring that confidential information is not disclosed, even to family members, without permission
- undertaking relevant training on a regular basis
- considering if a personal relationship will impinge on our ability to provide pastoral caring; and
- considering the needs of vulnerable people.
In caring for children we demonstrate God’s love by:
- ensuring children feel safe, are respected and listened to
- considering the needs of children in all decisions regarding church activities
- not abusing children physically, emotionally, sexually or spiritually
- ensuring that no form of physical punishment is administered to any child while engaged in church activities
- ensuring that systems for the prevention of harm to children are maintained; and
- ensuring compliance with all legislative requirements for the health, safety and wellbeing of children.
In our communications we demonstrate God’s love by:
- using polite and respectful language when engaging with each other and with people in contact with the church
- respecting the opinions of others
- exercising good judgement when sending electronic mail and in the use of social media
- refraining from sending messages which are, or could be perceived as, harassing, threatening, abusive or obscene to each other or to people in contact with the church
- exercising good judgement in the material on our personal social network site; and
- refraining from viewing or circulating material which is pornographic or obscene, violent, racist or hate related, malicious, libellous or slanderous.
In financial and administrative matters we demonstrate God’s love by:
- setting an example of financial integrity both in our personal capacity and in our church activities
- ensuring that church and legislative requirements are followed when dealing with church monies
- refraining from seeking personal advantage or unfair financial gain for ourself or family and friends from our position or role
- considering if the acceptance of a gift is appropriate in all the circumstances8
- considering if there is a conflict of interest or a perceived conflict of interest if we are engaged in decision-making
- ensuring that volunteers are nurtured, nourished and valued
- ensuring that systems for the prevention of harm are maintained; and
- ensuring compliance with all church and legislative requirements for the health, safety and wellbeing for all people who engage with the church.
Life in the church is a preparation and empowerment for a life of love in the world. Our families and our communities, our workplaces and cultural settings might well experience through us something of God’s love as it comes to life again in us.
visit the LCA Policies webpage.