Facilities Usage Policy

Facilities Usage Policy

According to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, ” We are supposed to limit the use of parish facilities to parish groups and for parish functions. Finally, we cannot rent (or charge a fee for the use of) parish facilities to outside groups – or even to parish groups if the function is not a parish sponsored function or a sacramental celebration (it opens our 501(c)(3) status to challenge).

Therefore, Ascension parish facilities are available only for Parish, Deanery and Archdiocesan groups and events. No outside groups may use Ascension Parish facilities with the following exceptions:
– Groups who have for years used the facilities and who are grandfathered under this policy (ex. AA, Red Cross Blood Drive)
– Occasionally, Ascension develops reciprocal relationships with other parishes, schools or groups. In these cases Ascension may use the facilities in at other venues. In exchange, these other parishes, schools or groups may use Ascension facilities when they are available and do not conflict with other Ascension activities.

1. Groups that are sponsored by Ascension have permission to use the facilities and may host larger events within their organization with permission from the pastor.

2. A parish group is defined as a group that is sanctioned by Ascension parish and has a staff liaison.

3. A parish event is defined as an event sponsored by Ascension parish with a staff contact.

4. The parish provides some groups with regular facilities for their activities (e.g. scouts in YM, school uses the school much of the week, Religious Education uses the school on Monday afternoon and evenings). These groups are to use the facilities provided for them unless there is a sufficient reason why other facilities are required. Some examples of sufficient reasons are:

- size of room vs. number of people (e.g. the scouts can not physically have an eagle scout court of honor in the YM room)
- facility is being used by another group (i.e. a school activity on Monday afternoon can not take place in a classroom because of RE)
- structural reasons (the school used the Witzman center for the stations of the cross because of the moveable wall between 114 and 118).

5. Events that are to be attended primarily by elementary school aged children or elementary school aged children with their guardians will be scheduled in the school cafeteria when these events include food or crafts.

6. The church and chapel were designed and built for liturgy and Prayer experiences. These spaces have a special dignity and sacredness which means that they are to be used primarily for prayer and liturgy. The church is not be used simply as a gathering space or for other activities that are not for the purpose of supporting the spiritual formation of the faithful. However, these spaces may be used occasionally for talks and other non-prayer activities directly oriented towards the spiritual and religious formation of the faithful.

7. According to the General Instruction to the Roman Missal, “It is desirable that in every church there be a fixed altar, since this more clearly and permanently signifies Christ Jesus” (GIRM 298). At Ascension, we have a moveable altar. However, in order to accede to the desire of the Church, the altar should be moved only on rare occasions with the permission of the pastor. The Ambo also has special significance as the place from which the Word of God is proclaimed (GIRM 309). It should be moved only on rare occasions with the permission of the pastor.

8. All events on parish property must be scheduled on the parish calendar.

9. Scheduling is done through the parish secretary except for school events during school hours. These are scheduled through the school secretary. Facility requests can be made online at http://www.ascensionkettering.org/ascension-church/calendar-request/. Requests can also be made at the parish office.

10. Situations may arise when other events may take precedence over previously scheduled groups or events. (e.g. funerals, large Archdiocesan gathering on the same day as band practice). Negotiations for space already reserved is done through the staff person(s) responsible for the events.

11. All facilities are smoke free.

12. Firearms are prohibited on the premises.

13. Alcohol is not permitted on the premises unless previously approved by the Pastor.

14. Groups using a room must leave the room in the same condition as found, furniture returned to its original order, chairs and tables cleaned and floors swept as needed. The location of cleaning materials and clean-up procedures for each facility are available at the parish office.

15. Groups with children must follow policies set forth in the Archdiocesan Decree on Child Protection including, but not limited to(1):

- Regular volunteers who work with children more than 3 hours a month or who work with children more frequently than once a month must attend an orientation session on the Decree and be fingerprinted.
- A minimum of two adults must be present, (number of adults is to be in proportion to the age, number of participants and duration/difficulty of activity.)

16. Groups should remain in their reserved room(s) and children should be supervised. This limits unnecessary hall traffic and disturbance of other meetings in progress.

Failure to adhere to these policies jeopardizes a group’s privilege to use the facility.