God forbid it should happen here!
But we should be as prepared as we can be if it ever does.
Emmanuel Church announces that it will hold a special “Active Shooter” training in the church on Sunday, 8 September 2019 at 10:00 AM. The purpose of this training is to instruct parishioners on what to do if an active shooter enters the church while we are at worship. Harford County Sheriff Deputy Brad Crossley will lead the session for us, covering in particular the things we can do to respond safely and appropriately to such an invasion. The session will last about an hour and a half, with time available to have your particular questions asked. Though the training is specifically geared to Emmanuel Church — its building and setting — much of what will be described will apply to other venues or situations you might find yourself in. To encourage as many parishioners as possible to attend, there will be no 8:00 AM or 12 Noon service that Sunday.
This training will broach sensitive and disturbing material, and so our children (through middle school) will go to their Sunday School classes for their own activities.
Our Sunday School program has already implemented certain procedures to insure that their class time is as secure and safe as possible. This includes a system of walkie talkies to enable immediate communication between buildings.
As a community of faith, we know that we are always in God’s hands and under the care of God’s providence. That does not exempt us, however, from taking advantage of the gifts, skills, and experience around us to take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Please do everything you can to be with us on 8 September 2019. And please pray everyday that we may see an end to senseless violence in this country. Here is a prayer that I have been using, written by yours truly.
A Prayer in the Midst of Senseless Violence
Out of the depths we cry out to you, O Lord:
We cry out in confusion that there are people among us who resort to violence to vent their anger or their anguish;
We cry out in pity for those who are victims of senseless violence, and for their family, friends, and neighbors;
We cry out in fear that we might become victims of similar acts of violence;
And we cry out in frustration that actions have not been taken to make our society safer for all of us, regardless of heritage, language, race, or religion.
But we also cry out in faith, believing that your providence reigns over all the earth, and that despite the trials and tribulations we face here, there is a seat waiting for us at your table in your kingdom.
Hear our cries, O Lord, and give us that peace which your Son Jesus Christ offered his disciples, and which spreads abroad through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.