About Us

Purposes of ACROSS

The purposes of ACROSS are :

  • To contribute to employee welfare and morale by supporting and strengthening one another in the practice of faith in Jesus Christ.
  • To contribute to the best interests and betterment of our co-workers, the agency, and the public we serve by demonstrating Christian faith in the workplace.
  • To unite Christians and those who support the principles of Christianity in the workplace.
  • To encourage one another in Jesus Christ and reveal His love to others.
  • To pray for our local and national leaders.
  • To interact with management to ensure that the Christian perspective is considered in the development and implementation of policy and practices such as those dealing with work environment, employee welfare, wellness, civil rights, and family and career.
  • To support managers in making right and moral decisions on policy and other actions.
  • To cooperate with the Civil Rights Managers and staff, and other authorized employee groups to ensure compliance with pertinent regulations and resolve civil rights-related issues.

History

ACROSS, the Association for Christians Reaching Out in Service and Support, was approved by the Forest Service in July 1997 under 5 CFR Part 251. Although the Forest Service originally refused to grant ACROSS the same benefits and privileges that it grants all other employee organizations, ACROSS is now being given equal and fair treatment in accordance with the treatment granted to other employee association also approved by the Forest Service. The organizing actions and the use of services described below are authorized by the USDA Personnel Manual, Chapter 252, regulating all employee groups, and the Departmental Personnel Bulletin No. 252-1, issued March 11, 1999, which specifies the benefits the government can provide to employee groups. These documents are FS policy.

Organization

Organize a local chapter of ACROSS.

  • Meet on unofficial time, such as before or after work or during lunch hour. Set you own meeting times and days.
  • Structure your time together to meet the needs of the members.
  • Be sure to include prayer for Forest Service leadership including the leadership and employees of your local unit.
  • Welcome non-Christians who are interested and wish to learn about or support the association.
  • Select one of your members as a chapter representative. Elect other officers if you wish.

What can ACROSS Chapters Do

Local chapters can:

  • Use government or agency space for meeting on other than official time.
  • Use internal agency communication systems, including but not limited to, bulletin boards, electronic mail, and telephones, as long as it does not interfere with use of such communication systems for official business. This means we can have mailing lists, distribute information, put up notices, have a newsletter, etc. We can also announce meetings and provide information about our activities. 5 CFR part 251 and Departmental Personnel Bulletin 252-1 specifically permit this.
  • Officially be represented and participate in civil rights meetings, management meetings, multicultural committee meetings, etc., in which all others are participating on government time.
  • Meet with management on government time when invited to provide information.
  • Provide input to management decision via petition, letter, etc.
  • Create a positive and visible presence of kindness and helpfulness in the workplace.
  • Demonstrate honesty, integrity, responsibility, dependability, diligence, self-control, courtesy, and unselfishness on the job.
  • Encourage and exhort one another.
  • Pray for our leaders.
  • Have fellowship and Bible study on non-government time.
  • Discuss needs and issues in the workplace.
  • Be salt and light.

What ACROSS Chapters Cannot Do

Employee groups cannot:

  • Meet on government time.