Keeping Churches Safe and Welcoming

Keeping Churches Safe and Welcoming

(Duane Anders) Our
parents taught us, ‘The church is a safe place.
The church is our home.’ (narrator) Pastor Duane
Anders of Boise, Idaho’s Cathedral of the Rockies First
United Methodist Church has seen a lot of change over his 20
plus years in ministry. (Duane Anders) It wasn’t that
long ago that we never thought of an airplane as a weapon. (narrator) Visitors used
to ask questions like, “Do you have a youth group?” Today the concern is security. (Duane Anders) Active
shooter, child abuse. Some might be afraid to
especially talk about these things in the church. But we live in a sinful world. So we’re saying, ‘Let’s
raise the responsibility and create safe places.’ (Robert Johnson) The mantra
today for active shooter response is:
‘run, hide, fight.’ (narrator) In 2016, Cathedral of
the Rockies hosted their first Safe Church Summit. The two-day event covered
active shooter scenarios, personal defense workshops, (class) Ready! Go! No! CPR classes, and tips on
increasing security especially in
areas for children. (Brenda Sene) With the violence
that’s been in some of the churches, I wanted to
see if there was a way we could be safe. (Joe Prin) How many people in a
worship service of 500 here in this church are packing? How many have guns? And what if
something did happen? How would they respond? It’s a scary situation. We don’t know. And that’s the thing. We’ve got to think all
these things through. (narrator) Facilities manager
Joe Prin advised churches to seek help from members who are
firefighters, police officers, or have a military background. (Joe Prin) We have to prepare
as much for this as we do about deciding how to feed people who
are hungry or how to provide shelter for those that are
experiencing homelessness. This is as critical of
a ministry as anything else that we do. This is the reality
of the world today.” (narrator) Booths offered
support from groups that advocate for children and
companies that sell church insurance and personal
defense products. (woman 1) What a stun gun does
is it captures a muscle group and it causes a spasming effect. (Loud buzz of stun gun) (woman 2) Woah! (narrator) Safety
summit speakers raised practical questions. (Robert Johnson) If something
happens at your church and you or one of your volunteers takes
action, will your church’s insurance policy absolutely
defend your church?” (narrator) The event had 250
participants from 34 churches across many denominations,
all with similar concerns. (Joe Prin) One of the kneejerk
reactions to security issues is to lock the doors. (narrator) But organizers
say there’s no need for uniformed guards. Arm your volunteers with
knowledge and a plan of action. (Joe Prin) We’re gonna have
ushers that are more than a smiling face and a handshake. They’re gonna be observant. They’re gonna be vigilant. (narrator) Churches can be
both welcoming and safe. (Joe Prin) We don’t
have to be fearful. We’re protected. We are trained. We are ready to respond. ♪ (music) ♪

One thought on “Keeping Churches Safe and Welcoming

  1. I'm a longtime legal concealed carry permit holder. I discreetly carry a small revolver everywhere I go. But the UMC thinks they know better than I do and considers their churches to be gun-free zones. Bad guys with bad intentions are not phased by such official pronouncements. Prevent me from protecting my family and I will hold the UMC responsible if something terrible happens.

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