Volunteer Handbook Agreement
Cornerstone Chapel Volunteers,
Thank you for choosing to serve through Cornerstone Chapel. Volunteers are an essential part of our ministry. We could not do what we do without you. When you use your gifts to serve, you share the love of Christ with others in a powerful and impactful way.
This Volunteer Handbook was developed to make you aware of important church policies and provide you with information you will need as you faithfully serve. All volunteers are required to read the Volunteer Handbook and sign the “Volunteer Statement of Acknowledgment” found on the last page.
Thank you again for volunteering your time to help us make Him known.
With grateful hearts,
Pastoral and Ministry StaffCornerstone Chapel
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
– 1 Corinthians 15:58
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."
– 1 Corinthians 15:58
This Volunteer Handbook is intended to provide general guidelines for volunteer conduct and requirements. Cornerstone Chapel reserves the right to modify any information contained in this handbook, with or without notice, as it deems necessary or appropriate.
The policies contained in this handbook are effective January 1, 2022, and replace all previous Volunteer Handbooks and Policy Manuals.
Changes to this handbook may be made at the discretion of the Senior Pastor or by the Director of HR on behalf of the Senior Pastor. Once adopted, changes to any policies will become effective immediately. All volunteers will receive a new copy of the handbook whenever changes are made.
Cornerstone Chapel conducts criminal background and reference checks for all new volunteers to determine suitability for volunteering when necessary. Cornerstone also reserves the right to update these criminal background checks on existing volunteers.
In the event a criminal record exists, consideration will be given to the relationship between the conviction and the responsibilities of the position that is or will be held. A relevant job-related conviction is grounds for non-selection of an applicant. “Conviction,” as used in this section, is defined as including all felonies and misdemeanors except minor traffic violations in relation to any position that does not require driving. For positions that do require operation of a motor vehicle, a “conviction” includes minor traffic violations. Falsification of application material, including failure to disclose criminal convictions, is grounds for not being able to serve as a volunteer.
All information obtained through a criminal background check will be considered confidential information and will not be released without written authorization and release signed by the individual who is subject to the inquiry.
Volunteers must have a spirit of cooperation with the Senior Pastor, staff members, church leaders, and with members of the congregation. They should have a servant’s heart, be willing to help where and when needed, and take initiative for whatever needs to be done. Disagreements that cannot be resolved privately in accordance with Matthew 18 will be resolved in accordance with the Biblical Conflict Resolution section in this Handbook. Violation of this principle may prohibit the volunteer from further service.
Volunteers must be neatly and modestly dressed and groomed in appearance.
All volunteers will be required to agree to Cornerstone Chapel’s Articles of Faith:
Cornerstone Chapel wants to create a safe, healthy, drug-free and smoke-free environment for everyone who comes through our doors, whether employees, volunteers, congregants or visitors. To promote this goal, all volunteers are required to report for volunteer service in an appropriate mental and physical condition to perform their duties in a satisfactory manner. The use, sale, transfer, or possession of; or being “under the influence” of; alcohol, illegal drugs, or controlled substances while volunteering on church property or in church vehicles is prohibited. Smoking of tobacco is also prohibited within the church building, vehicles and on the church grounds. In addition, illegal off-duty conduct that may adversely affect the church’s reputation or interest is also prohibited. Volunteers who violate this policy may be prohibited from further volunteer service.
In the event that an injury occurs during a church function for which a volunteer is present, the volunteer is required to immediately notify a church staff member who will manage the situation on his/her behalf.
Each volunteer is responsible for conducting himself/herself in a manner that will glorify God. Cornerstone Chapel uses biblical principles to guide its work ethics and policies and expects the same of its volunteers.
Failure to display a constant effort to adhere to the Scriptural principles of the Christian life as defined and set forth in God’s Word and Cornerstone’s governing documents and policies may lead to dismissal.
One of Cornerstone Chapel’s greatest concerns is protecting children from the possibility of sexual misconduct, and strictly prohibits any such behavior. Sexual misconduct includes, but is not limited to, any inappropriate or illegal behavior or mental condition likely to produce such behavior, including child abuse or a mental health diagnosis of paraphilia (including pedophilia, exhibitionism, or voyeurism).
A volunteer found with any of the above in his/her history will be prohibited from interactions with children and youth. The Senior Pastor, or his designee, to promote sensitivity to the complainant and justice to all parties, will investigate all allegations of such inappropriate behavior promptly, thoroughly, and with the highest confidentiality permitted by the circumstances. Disagreements that cannot be resolved privately in accordance with Matthew 18 will be resolved in accordance with Biblical Conflict Resolution section in this Handbook. Any violation will disqualify the volunteer from further service.
Volunteers may be required to complete training if they serve in an area with minors.
Cornerstone Chapel is committed to providing an environment that is free from unlawful harassment based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, disability, veteran status, age, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. No discrimination or harassment of any type will be tolerated by employees or volunteers of the Cornerstone Chapel. Violation of this policy will result in dismissal as a volunteer.
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, making unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and all other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or otherwise offensive nature. Sexual harassment can occur between individuals of the opposite sex or the same sex.
Harassment other than sexual harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion to an individual because of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sex, disability, veteran status, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.
If a volunteer believes that he/she is being or has been harassed in any way, he/she must report the facts of the incident or incidents to the Pastor over the event or the church’s Director of HR without fear of reprisal. Cornerstone will investigate all complaints of discrimination and harassment promptly and impartially.
Every effort will be made to keep the volunteer’s complaint confidential and consistent with Cornerstone Chapel’s Performance Standards and Biblical Code of Conduct and any legal obligations.
Cornerstone Chapel prohibits any form of retaliation against a volunteer for opposing harassment or discrimination, filing a complaint under this policy, or for assisting in the investigation of a complaint. If a volunteer believes that he/she has been retaliated against in violation of this policy, he/she must report this to the Pastor over the event, the Director of HR, Senior Pastor, or Executive Pastor as appropriate.
If a determination is made that unlawful harassment, discrimination or retaliation has occurred, the church will take appropriate preventive and corrective action.
Pursuant to Virginia law, and in recognition of the well-documented health advantages of breastfeeding for infants and mothers, Cornerstone Chapel provides a supportive environment to enable breastfeeding mothers to feed their children on church premises. This policy shall be communicated to all current employees and volunteers and shall be included in new employee and volunteer orientation training.
VVA Code Ann. §32.1-370: “A mother may breastfeed in any place where the mother is lawfully present, including any location where she would otherwise be allowed on property that is owned, leased, or controlled by the Commonwealth in accordance with § 2.2-1147.1.”
VA Code Ann. § 18.2-387: “Every person who intentionally makes an obscene display or exposure of his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where others are present, or procures another to so expose himself, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. No person shall be deemed to be in violation of this section for breastfeeding a child in any public place or any place where others are present (assuming that she is not intentionally exposing herself).”
Mothers who are present on Cornerstone Chapel premises in any capacity (e.g., as an employee, congregant, volunteer, attendee, etc.) shall be permitted to breastfeed her child and/or express milk in any location where she is lawfully present and complies with the law. The breastfeeding mother may use Cornerstone Chapel’s Mommy and Me room and/or any private room/nursery area available to the public if she chooses to do so; however, she shall not be required to do so.
Volunteers who have any question about a nursing mother’s situation should contact a responsible employee and not address the issue themselves. Moreover, Cornerstone Chapel staff and volunteers shall not ask the breastfeeding mother to leave, move, and/or stop breastfeeding unless she is violating the law.
The following is the policy of Cornerstone Chapel with respect to service dogs. While Cornerstone Chapel, and all religious organizations are exempt from the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Cornerstone Chapel is a private venue, not a public accommodation for the purposes of public accommodations laws, Cornerstone Chapel nonetheless aspires to create a welcoming environment for congregants and staff where possible.
Cornerstone Chapel welcomes trained guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs, as defined by Virginia law. Virginia law does not require any public accommodation of dogs or other animals that provide “emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship” rather than a specific work or task such as “providing nonviolent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting an individual to the presence of allergens, retrieving items, carrying items, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability, and preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.” Virginia Code § 51.5-44.
While Cornerstone Chapel recognizes the need to allow trained service animals as described above, it is generally unable to allow other animals into its facilities, such as pets or emotional support animals. Individuals bringing an animal that is not a service animal into Cornerstone’s facilities will be asked to remove the animal from the premises.
In accordance with Virginia law, we ask that handlers of service dogs adhere to identification standards in Virginia law. These include a harness for trained guard dogs, blaze orange leash for hearing dogs, and appropriate harness, backpack, or vest identifying other trained service dogs as such.
Cornerstone Chapel staff may ask if the dog is a service animal required because of a disability and what work or task the dog is trained to perform.
Cornerstone Chapel highly discourages the representation of an untrained dog, emotional support animal, or ordinary house pet as a trained service dog. It is offensive to abuse the process designed to help people who rely on the services of a true service dog and it is a Class 4 misdemeanor under Virginia law. See Virginia Code § 51.5-44.1.
Cornerstone Chapel cannot be held liable for damage or harm caused by a service dog. In accordance with Virginia law the handler of the service dog will retain full liability for any damage caused to the facilities or other individuals.
Further, Cornerstone Chapel recognizes that most trained service dogs are remarkably well-tempered, non-disruptive, and provide a valuable service to their owners. A service dog must be under the control of its handler at all times. If, however, a service dog becomes disruptive, the handler may be asked to make remove the animal from the premises and make alternative arrangements. Examples of such disruptive behavior include:
a. Any sort of threatening behavior towards other congregants. This includes, but is not limited to biting, growling, or lunging.b. Repeated barking. A service dog may not disrupt services, events, and activities at Cornerstone Chapel facilities by barking. If a service dog barks more than once during a single service, event, or activity, and is disruptive, the handler may be asked to have the dog removed from the premises.c. Damaging or soiling the facilities. Trained service dogs are expected to be housetrained and will need to act accordingly.d. Otherwise failing to remain within the appropriate control of the handler.
Further, Cornerstone Chapel requests that any service dog attend to its needs off-premises for such purposes.
Most volunteers have been issued a key, fob, and/or an access code. Access will be determined by a volunteer’s supervisor and the Director of Security. If a volunteer loses a key or fob, he/she should inform the Director of Security immediately. Keys, fobs, and access codes should remain in the volunteer’s possession and should not be given to anyone else for his or her use. They are for the volunteer’s use only and may not be used to grant others access to the building.
The Senior Pastor will be the official spokesperson for Cornerstone Chapel in all matters of official comment. No volunteer will originate or release news concerning policies, doctrines, procedures, convictions, or finances of Cornerstone Chapel for use in any medium of communication without review and authorization by the Senior Pastor. All inquiries by media or other individuals, regardless of medium, should be directed to the Senior Pastor.
The same principles and guidelines found in Cornerstone Chapel’s Articles of Faith and Performance Standards/Biblical Code of Conduct apply equally to a volunteer’s online activities. Ultimately, the individual volunteer is solely responsible for what he/she posts on social media; however, if a volunteer posts content that is deemed to be in violation of the church’s Articles of Faith, it may result in dismissal as a volunteer.
Volunteers are not permitted under any circumstances to speak on behalf of the church. All content on social media that relates to the church must be clearly identifiable as a personal opinion and not that of Cornerstone Chapel.
Grievances or complaints between fellow volunteers or a volunteers and employees should first be addressed between themselves in the spirit of Matthew 18. If the grievance cannot be resolved or a volunteer has a complaint regarding the church’s policies or procedures, the volunteer should address the matter with a Pastor/Director as soon as possible. In most instances, informal discussion with the Pastor/Director will solve the problem. However, if a solution cannot be reached by talking, the matter will be resolved according to Biblical process set out in Matt. 18, Matt. 5, and 1 Cor. 6
This is to acknowledge that I have received a copy of the CORNERSTONE CHAPEL VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK, dated January 1, 2022. I understand that it provides guidelines and summary information about the church’s policies and procedures as they relate to my volunteer services. I also understand that it is my responsibility to read, understand, become familiar with, and comply with the guidelines that have been established. I further understand that the church reserves the right to modify, supplement, rescind, or revise any provision, benefit, or policy from time to time, as it deems necessary or appropriate and that this handbook supersedes all previous versions.
I acknowledge that I am volunteering for the church of my own free will, and that I will not receive compensation for my volunteer time. The church is not obligated to provide volunteer opportunities, nor am I obligated to accept them. I understand that violation of any of the guidelines set forth in this Volunteer Handbook may result in my dismissal as a volunteer.
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Document Name: Volunteer Handbook Agreement
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