We have a Safety Committee, headed by Melissa Bailey, which has just been made one of our standing committees. They have been looking at a number of issues. This is far bigger than just considering an active shooter situation. We have already look into our policies and practices with our nursery and who can work there. We have taken steps to help Kim with this, but have identified steps to take such as having a stronger door and the ability with the touch of a button to summon someone from the sanctuary to immediately go over to the nursery. We are looking into practices to help make the sanctuary safer. We already have greeters, but will look to other options which may include locking doors during our service, using a single point of entry, and what means we have of securing the doors in case of a shooter.
More than this we need to consider what to do in a natural disaster, a fire, or if someone has a medical emergency such as a heart attack. We will be making plans for all these possibilities. This is where you come in. We are not a large congregation so we need everyone to do their part. Those who have some medical training we need your skills in case of the medical emergency. We need people to take a responsibility of directing people to safety depending upon the need. We need everyone’s help, with a willingness, to embrace new safer behaviors without losing what Myrle used to call our hominess. The committee is looking to sit down with Sheriff Kevin Lake and discuss what churches can do for safety. As many others are doing we may consider having an officer on hand for worship. We certainly seek everyone’s prayers and feedback in this.
Let’s not lose sight of the greatest safety feature we have, our faith. I know some will say little good that did those people in this church or that synagogue who were killed, but if we live by faith that means living by faith. The Apostle Paul could say with confidence, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Paul wasn’t looking to die, but he didn’t fear it either because his hope was in Christ. He would say to be absent from this life is to be present with the Lord. When we have that kind of faith Satan and the world cannot overcome our faith with the fear they would have us feel. Some would have us believe that the world is a terrible, scary place that we need to hide from. Jesus would say that it was a field ready for the harvesters to go out and receive the harvest that has been prepared. Let us not lose sight of the fact that the church is not a fortress to hide in, but a field hospital on the battlefront saving anyone it can.