House of Worship Security.
CEN convened with house of worship safety experts this fall to prepare churches to "Be Ready." Christian Emergency Network (CEN) is developing best church safety and security practices from the faith community, finding seasoned trainers, and gathering a pool of emergency plan coaches to help protect churches nationwide from a variety of crises. Some of the most gifted, committed and professional experts in the area of church safety gathered with us in November for what is likely to be the first of several powerful meetings in the coming months. We are combining our experiences, people and processes to best ensure safety and preparedness in our churches, states Mary Marr, CENs founder and CEO.
The summit determined and/or discussed several things, among which were:
- The five top problem areas for church safety and security
- Principles by which safety and security providers should operate
- Best practices for 15 key safety and security issues
- Organizations providing training or consultation within the principled boundaries
- Standards by which to determine expert trainers in these areas
- Availability to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security to improve communication with houses of worship
These and several other topics were addressed to better forge a successful and efficient effort to keep Americas churches safe from harm and destruction. As much as is within our power to do so, we want secure churches; we need them to be alive and well for the seemingly increasing troubled times ahead, says Marr. Scripture teaches us to “be ready, in season and out, to share the Hope within, and we can only do that if alive and well, she adds.
Local Christian Emergency Network (CEN) ReadyCities are Starting Now - see how you and your church can begin a ReadyCity
Leading the Way in Tempe, Arizona
The ReadyCity in Tempe is forging the way for many ReadyCities in Arizona, says Jon McHatton, CENs State and ReadyCity Development Director. Believers see the need for church preparedness and response in their own city, and have put many structural pieces into place already. They are bringing together the faith community and emergency response personnel in order to be well acquainted and functioning ahead of the need for the next emergency response.
ReadyCity exist in many states, and are already being seen as invaluable by each community. Individual churches are creating Church Emergency Teams (CET) to prepare and assess response capacities to best be ready. Jon takes each state and its ReadyCity through a process by which they become their own entity within their local emergency management structure. The ReadyCity then motivates and equips its local faith area to be an effective response tool.
Tempe is just one of our ReadyCity stories so far, says Mary Marr, CEN Founder/President. Every emergency starts and ends locally, and we need to prepare for these as best as possible. Relationships being forged in each community through these ReadyCities, and specifically through the ReadyChurch Training that many ReadyCities are implementing, are strong and successful, she adds.