Poll

What does your congregation do to protect against an attack at the church?

Pastor is armed.
1 (2.4%)
Some congregants are armed.
10 (23.8%)
Trained armed security team.
1 (2.4%)
Trained unarmed security team.
2 (4.8%)
Doors are locked at all times and opened for each individual or group as they arrive.
0 (0%)
Doors are unlocked for worship services, locked at other times.
12 (28.6%)
Doors are posted with no weapons signs.
1 (2.4%)
Policy of no weapons, but not posted.  (Members were informed of no weapons policy.)
2 (4.8%)
Nothing.
13 (31%)

Total Members Voted: 28

Author Topic: What does your congregation do to protect against an attack at the church?  (Read 3414 times)

James S. Rustad

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I know of congregations which use two of these choices.  One of them changed its choice about three years ago.  (If I read the poll instructions correctly, you should be able to pick multiple options.)

Donald_Kirchner

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You mean besides Luther's Morning Prayer?
Don Kirchner

"Heaven's OK, but it’s not the end of the world." Jeff Gibbs

Jeremy Loesch

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James, et al: the congregational leadership has been discussing this, and at present I am aware that some members with a concealed carry license do wear their firearm or carry it in their purse. We are looking into some training for security purposes and have added an additional usher to our regular crew and their job is to stay in our entryway and keep an eye on things, especially the parking lot.

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Charles Austin

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I thought we were to trust in God rather than the power of our weapons. Especially in God’s Holy house.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

Team Hesse

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Having been in leadership in an ELCA congregation that attempted to deal with the issues of guns and security in response to a school shooting in which classmates of my children and a teacher were killed, I am of a mind that this is one thing that Satan wishes to use to distract and divide God's people. Little old ladies who pack and conceal weapons in their purses will wonder what to do, the gung-ho "serve and protect" types will want a known and clear presence of security protocol in the congregation, and at the same time the pacifists and others will insist the congregation be a "gun-free safe place" advertising to everyone that "this is a target rich zone."


Go about our business without addressing this minefield. If someone is determined to shoot the place up, thinking you can stop them is silly. The whole thing is a distraction.


Lou

D. Engebretson

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One of my members is the chief deputy in the adjoining county sheriff's department and I approached him recently about addressing our leadership about safety protocols.  Another member is head of buildings and maintenance in the local unified school district and is experienced in leading training in the ALICE method ( the #1 active shooter civilian response training for all organizations; stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate.)  As part of the school district my wife went through this training.  It is a complete rethinking of the way we deal with mass shooting situations.  This year I plan to bring both of these men together for training at my church.  Given the new vulnerabilities even in smaller, rural churches, I think it is prudent to offer at least this much for the safety of our people.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

James S. Rustad

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I thought we were to trust in God rather than the power of our weapons. Especially in God’s Holy house.

After Benjamin franklin invented lightning rods, some congregations refused to install them as they explicitly chose to place their trust in God rather than in iron rods.

Dan Fienen

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I thought we were to trust in God rather than the power of our weapons. Especially in God’s Holy house.

After Benjamin franklin invented lightning rods, some congregations refused to install them as they explicitly chose to place their trust in God rather than in iron rods.
As I recall, the same argument was used against insurance of any kind and pensions for pastors - they were to trust God and God’s people to care for them in their old age.  Charles, are you putting your trust in God rather than pension schemes for your retirement?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Charles Austin

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Once again, I am in agreement with Lou.
And, Pastor Fienen, do not be a sillysnark. Just because I have a pension does not mean I place my final “trust” in it. But you will have the last word as you always wish.
 (And I know what it will be.)
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, Nw York and New Jersey. LCA and LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired, living in Minneapolis.

Dan Fienen

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Once again, I am in agreement with Lou.
And, Pastor Fienen, do not be a sillysnark. Just because I have a pension does not mean I place my final “trust” in it. But you will have the last word as you always wish.
 (And I know what it will be.)
Just because people make plans and arrangements for security, or have guns means that they don’t trust God or put their final “trust” in guns.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: What does your congregation do to protect against an attack at the church?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2018, 05:43:25 PM »
Having been in leadership in an ELCA congregation that attempted to deal with the issues of guns and security in response to a school shooting in which classmates of my children and a teacher were killed, I am of a mind that this is one thing that Satan wishes to use to distract and divide God's people. Little old ladies who pack and conceal weapons in their purses will wonder what to do, the gung-ho "serve and protect" types will want a known and clear presence of security protocol in the congregation, and at the same time the pacifists and others will insist the congregation be a "gun-free safe place" advertising to everyone that "this is a target rich zone."


Go about our business without addressing this minefield. If someone is determined to shoot the place up, thinking you can stop them is silly. The whole thing is a distraction.


How do you interpret Matthew 26:52? "Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.'" (ESV)
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

J. Thomas Shelley

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Re: What does your congregation do to protect against an attack at the church?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2018, 05:58:46 PM »
Some serious food for thought on pages 12 and 13 of this working paper presented by a Priest of the Orthodox Church in America to a Lenten clergy retreat in 2007.

Scroll down to the sections "attack on the life of the Priest" and "Profanation of the House of God".

https://nynjoca.org/files/2007/Clergy%20Retreat/The-practical-instructions-03-12-2007.pdf
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Steven Tibbetts

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Re: What does your congregation do to protect against an attack at the church?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2018, 06:09:53 PM »
I thought we were to trust in God rather than the power of our weapons. Especially in God’s Holy house.

I think if, instead of mostly North Americans, Christians from Nigeria, Pakistan, India, Egypt, etc. were participating in this forum, we'd get very different reactions to this poll.  And it's not because they don't trust in God.

Pax, Steven+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
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Team Hesse

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Re: What does your congregation do to protect against an attack at the church?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2018, 06:17:26 PM »
Having been in leadership in an ELCA congregation that attempted to deal with the issues of guns and security in response to a school shooting in which classmates of my children and a teacher were killed, I am of a mind that this is one thing that Satan wishes to use to distract and divide God's people. Little old ladies who pack and conceal weapons in their purses will wonder what to do, the gung-ho "serve and protect" types will want a known and clear presence of security protocol in the congregation, and at the same time the pacifists and others will insist the congregation be a "gun-free safe place" advertising to everyone that "this is a target rich zone."


Go about our business without addressing this minefield. If someone is determined to shoot the place up, thinking you can stop them is silly. The whole thing is a distraction.


How do you interpret Matthew 26:52? "Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.'" (ESV)


I said this was a minefield, Brian, but that never seems to stop you. Peter had no call to use the sword. There are those who do.....


Lou

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: What does your congregation do to protect against an attack at the church?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2018, 07:34:44 PM »
Having been in leadership in an ELCA congregation that attempted to deal with the issues of guns and security in response to a school shooting in which classmates of my children and a teacher were killed, I am of a mind that this is one thing that Satan wishes to use to distract and divide God's people. Little old ladies who pack and conceal weapons in their purses will wonder what to do, the gung-ho "serve and protect" types will want a known and clear presence of security protocol in the congregation, and at the same time the pacifists and others will insist the congregation be a "gun-free safe place" advertising to everyone that "this is a target rich zone."


Go about our business without addressing this minefield. If someone is determined to shoot the place up, thinking you can stop them is silly. The whole thing is a distraction.


How do you interpret Matthew 26:52? "Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.'" (ESV)


I said this was a minefield, Brian, but that never seems to stop you. Peter had no call to use the sword. There are those who do.....


So, only those in law enforcement or military - those called to bear the sword - should carry firearms?


I also note that in Luke 22:36 Jesus tells the disciples to buy swords. Did that authorize all disciples to carry swords?
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]