Dear Siblings in Christ:
You may have seen recent warnings of a possible security threat to churches, as a continuation of the rioting we saw in our nation’s capital and in some states. The Stated Clerk of the PC(USA), Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, has provided the following Statement:
Siblings in Christ,
We live in turbulent times. Every day we see and hear about violence directed at individuals or groups because of their religious beliefs, political views or social justice initiatives.
As we celebrate the life and ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and prepare for the inauguration of a new president over the weekend and into next week, we are hearing of possible threats against some “liberal” churches.
While we can’t speak to any specific threats against churches in the PC(USA), there are concerns that extremists may target some churches both Sunday, January 17, and Wednesday, January 20.
We do not want to alarm or overreact, but we do encourage you to be vigilant in caring for the well-being of your congregants and ministers and continue to encourage churches to worship virtually as you have since the pandemic began last March.
If your congregation is meeting in person or worship, please ensure that someone is monitoring all entrances and exits.
Gracious God, we pray for non-violence during this time and for the safety of all Your children now and forevermore. Amen.
Thus far, we have not heard of any specific threats to churches within the Presbytery of Lake Michigan. We will continue to monitor for alerts of threats.
Earlier this week, the Presbyterian Disaster Preparedness & Response Task Force circulated to all Clerks of Session guidance on managing church security risks, including:
Mitigating Attack on Houses of Worship Security Guide
This guide outlines how to make a plan.
Houses of Worship Security Self- Assessment
This self-scoring assessment identifies areas of risks. It is helpful for those without security experience.
PDA Resource Guide for Human Caused Disasters
PDA Mid Council Quiet Page
We hope this email has been sent with an overabundance of caution. Our prayer is for the well-being of all our congregations. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us.
May God Bless Us All,
Rev. Fran Lane-Lawrence
Transitional Co-Leader/Stated Clerk
Rev. Cal Bremer