House of Worship Safety Seminar

House of Worship Safety Seminar

Saturday, October 27, 2018, 10:00am-2:30pm

Sponsored by the Southern Province PEC and Home Moravian Church

Not so many years ago, church doors were wide open to members and strangers alike, no questions asked.  After all, isn’t that the point of church? All are welcome! Tragically, the evil of the world finds no boundaries to prevent tragedy and harm. In today’s world those same open doors might invite the danger and evil of the world beyond the threshold.  Since the 2015 shooting at a church in Charleston, SC, which left 9 people dead and the more recent 2017 mass shooting in Southerland Springs, TX, where 26 worshipers were shot dead, the need to enhance our church safety and security is vital for our Moravian congregations.

Some of our churches may already have an informal security or emergency plan in place and some may hire off-duty police officers. Being a welcoming and open door congregation doesn’t begin with songs, sermons and Bible studies anymore.  It begins with awareness at the door. That is why it is vital for our churches to have a protocol in place for keeping our congregations safe.

Talking about an active shooter scenario is a difficult conversation for our church leaders and members to have because we believe it will never happen in our church. However, most active shooter situations last less than five minutes and are over even before law enforcement can arrive on the scene. Our Moravian Church leaders cannot be complacent; they must face the fact that the unthinkable may happen in their congregation and they need to be prepared.

In an effort to help our churches in the Southern Province better prepare and protect themselves, the PEC and Home Moravian Church will host a House of Worship Safety Seminar.  This four-hour seminar will be offered at no cost to attendees. Lockdown International of Huntersville will present it and the instructor will be Lieutenant Steve Huber, a retired Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer. The seminar is designed for clergy, lay leaders, safety teams and any other member concerned about the safety of their church.  The goal of the seminar is to provide each individual with the knowledge and strategies to make their congregation a safer place.

Some of the topics to be addressed during the seminar include:

Active Shooter Survival

Emergency Operations Plan(s)

Building Security

Personal Safety

Handling Offerings

The House of Worship Safety Seminar will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2018, from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm in the sanctuary of Home Moravian. There will be a 30- minute break at noon for a potluck picnic lunch in Fellowship Hall. We ask those attending the seminar to bring cold lunch items such as sandwiches, salads, chips, pickles and desserts to share. Drinks will be provided.

Churches may send as many members as they choose and the seminar is open to all ages; however parental guidance is suggested for younger children as parts of the presentation contain sensitive images. Those attending the seminar will receive a Life Safety Team template, which their churches can use to prepare a Church Safety Plan.

As we prepare for this House of Worship Safety Seminar, we pray our churches will be spared from the day of ever needing a church safety plan, but we also pray for the strength and courage to implement one if the need should arise.

 

 

 

Prayer Day for Star Mountain and Middle East Peace

Sunday, May 20 (Pentecost) is also the 151st anniversary of the founding of what is now Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center, in Ramallah, in the West Bank.

Star Mountain continues to provide a variety of programs including: an integrative kindergarten, a school, an autism program, a vocational training program, and a community work program. Support services include art education, physiotherapy, speech therapy, psycho-social support, and sports.

Here are links to information about and recent news from Star Mountain (you’ll need to use a translator for these web pages); and a short video presentation  (in English) prepared by the Moravian Mission Society in Germany. We have prepared a bulletin insert you may want to provide in worship on the 20th.   It includes information about Star Mountain, and also the work of Churches for Middle East Peace, of which our Province has been a member for 12 years.