After the terrible tragedy in Texas last week, many of our churches are considering how they can best prepare for an emergency in their community or congregation and how United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence. Below are some of the resources available to clergy, trustees committees, church leaders, and others on this topic.
United Methodist Resources
Embracing Love: A Prayer for Texas (UMCOM)
Keeping Churches Safe and Welcoming (Video)
Ways United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence (UMC.org)
Book of Resolutions: Our Call to End Gun Violence
Services and Liturgies for Times of Crisis (Discipleship Ministries)
Ecumenical and External Articles
Why Church Shootings Don’t Intimidate the Church (The Washington Post)
FEMA Protecting Your House of Worship (fema.gov)
Tip Sheet from the National Disaster Interfaith Network (N-DIN.org)
Thom Rainer: How Your Church Should Prepare for an Active Shooter (thomrainer.com)
Three Steps toward Preparedness
1. Contact your local Emergency Management and law enforcement for guidance and training in active shooter/emergency policies. Most local law enforcement agencies will help with a local church security audit leading to a plan that can be broadened and followed by ushers, staff, trustees, preschool leaders, and church members.
2. Keep open lines of communication with local authorities as your plans are developed. Partner with EMA and other local agencies when situations arise that call for shelter, food, and ministry.
3. Participate in Connecting Neighbors training and become a Disaster Prepared Church. The Conference has a full curriculum for both of these training opportunities.