Volunteering at Saint James
Giving back by giving to others
Volunteering at Saint James is a rich and rewarding experience. We offer many opportunities for service both on and off campus.
- Power Packs at Carter & MacRae Elementary
- Academic mentoring at Carter & MacRae Elementary
- Winter Shelter at St. Mary’s
- Puerto Rico hurricane recovery
- Fresh Express in Columbia
- Head Start
- Fund-raising events for the Food Hub
- Sunday morning hospitality
- Worship services including acolytes, ushers, altar guild, Eucharistic minister, intercessor, lector and verger
- Ollies closet
- Building & Grounds Committee
- Caring Cooks
Clearances and training needed
The Diocese of Central PA requires anyone 18 years and older who serves alongside of, is involved with and/or has oversight in children and youth ministries to obtain PA state background clearances before, or in conjunction with obtaining Safeguarding God’s Children Training.
State Clearances Needed
• PA Child Abuse History Clearance application may be submitted electronically at https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/. You will create a new account in the Child Welfare Portal in order to submit your application. There is no fee for volunteers. You will receive an email notification with your results within 14 days.
• PA Criminal History Report application may be submitted electronically at https://epatch.state.pa.us. There is no fee for volunteers. This gives an automatic reply as long as there is no criminal history. Once you receive the report, please print out the official copy (certificate form) and submit to the church office. Please note that you must print and save the certification form once you have clicked on it. Once viewed, you will have no further access to the document.
• FBI fingerprint background check is required for all employees. It also is required for volunteers who have not lived continuously in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years. Pre-register by going to IndentGO (https://uenroll.identogo.com/). Enter the correct code. Volunteers, enter: 1KG6ZJ. Employees ages 14 and older, enter: 1KG756. Schedule an appointment and provide information as needed. Provide Saint James with your report.
Safeguarding God’s Children Training
Along with the PA state clearances, Safeguarding God’s Children training is also required to volunteer at Saint James. This two-hour training course is offered approximately once per quarter, alternating between weekday business hours and evenings. Diocesan certificates are issued upon completion of the course. Individuals must renew their Safeguarding certification every five years via the online training.
Click here to download an overview of How to Obtain Clearances.
Who needs the training and clearances?
- All clergy whether stipendiary, non-stipendiary, or otherwise who are engaged in ministry or service to the church
- All paid personnel, whether employed in areas of children and youth ministry or other kinds of services by the diocese, its congregations, schools or other agencies
- Those who contract their services to the diocese, its congregations, schools or other agencies
- Volunteers, including any person who enters into or offers himself or herself for a church related service to and with children and youth (18 and under) or who actually assists with or performs a service with the children and/or youth of the congregation or is part of any function that is under the auspices the Diocese of Central PA and/or each congregation, whether or not they have been selected or assigned to do so
- Volunteers who serve off-site under the auspices of Saint James. (ex: Winter Shelter, Power Packs, academic mentoring, Fresh Express)
- All church school teachers
- All persons who supervise or assist with supervising children or youth in ministries, programs or activities infrequently, generally no more than three times a year or for one program or activity during a year that lasts less than a month (i.e. assisting with preparation for the Christmas pageant, or teaching one “unit” of Church School for a month)
- All persons who provide transportation to children or youth (transportation with parent permission still requires Safeguarding God’s Children training)
- All persons who work or assist in the nursery, whether on an emergency basis or otherwise
- All vestry members or other members of similar decision-making groups who have the authority to approve the creation of ministries, programs or activities for children or youth. (They are invited to take the one hour training session)
- Anyone who has a key to the church grounds and buildings.