Kansas City Star: With open arms and open eyes, churches minister to sex offenders
Within days of attending a Sunday service at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, a Johnson County man received an unexpected e-mail.
Security officials at the Leawood megachurch wanted to see him immediately. They told him this summer that some rules needed to be set if he wished to come back to worship.
He must go straight to the sanctuary before service and leave immediately after it ended — no dawdling. There would be no direct contact with church staff.
Only a single-stool restroom on the church campus could be used.
And under no circumstances could he enter the children’s wing of the church.
The man is a registered sex offender, convicted seven years ago of possessing child pornography. He’s also one of a special class of worshippers whom most churches across the country want to welcome — but very carefully.
“While we’re a very inclusive church family, at the same time, we feel we have a responsibility to have a safe environment for our members and visitors,” said Peter Metz, communications director for the Church of the Resurrection. “It’s a practical solution, much better than denying them access to the church.” ...