First Presbyterian Church is committed to creating and maintaining a community where all elders, employees, volunteers, and members are free from any type of sexual misconduct. In witness to that commitment, and consistent with policies in effect in the Florida Presbytery, the session in 2013 adopted a Sexual Misconduct Policy. The session made a small amendment to the policy in 2019.
The policy calls for the creating of a “response team,” which is a gender-diverse group of elders who have agreed to serve in a special, supportive role if allegations of misconduct arise. It is important to note that an elder, employee, volunteer, or member who has allegations to report is not limited to speaking to members of the response team, and is not required to report the allegations directly to the response team. The current response team consists of John Guthrie, Peggy Wright-Cleveland, and Carol Grondzik.
The response team does not investigate allegations, but is responsible for ensuring that all parties involved are informed of the procedures that will be followed to investigate the allegations, as well as for offering support to those who need it. During any internal or external investigation of alleged sexual misconduct, the response team also serves as a liaison between the investigation and the Session.