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Circling the Square

Safety | Security | Service

Posted by Bill Lovell on

On Sunday morning, November 5, 2017, 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, TX, and killed 26 people, injuring another 20. The attack—just east of San Antonio—was "the deadliest mass shooting by an individual in Texas, the fifth-deadliest mass shooting in the United States, and the deadliest shooting in an American place of worship in modern history." [Wikipedia]

Within just a few days, I heard from Tom Mayfield, a good friend and one of Christ Church’s most active new members. Tom pointed to what had just happened in Sutherland Springs and reminded me of the sadly similar tragedy in 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, SC. Tom’s question to me was simple: What can we do to make sure nothing like this ever happens at Christ Church?

Tom shared his concern with our church’s governing Board. A little later, he met with Carrollton’s Executive Director of Public Safety Rex Redden and challenged Rex with the same question he had asked me. Tom and Rex did a walk-through in our small church plant. They noted our location, physical arrangement, and Sunday morning practices; and, to my alarm, they spotted at least a half-dozen red-flag issues that, in Rex’s opinion, put our church at risk.

Rex and Tom broadened their initial conversation to include not just Christ Church Carrollton, and not just Christian churches, but all religious groups in Carrollton. Rex’s idea was to pull together leaders from all our City’s faith-based organizations to discuss some of the risks we share and to explore some best practices to help keep all our community’s worshippers safe and secure in the future.

With typical enthusiasm and excellence, Rex went to work, reviewing the best resources available. Christ Church jumped in, with the very capable help of super-organizer Sarah Deay, another new member. And, praise God, this Saturday, Feb 10, at 9am, Carrollton will have our very first FREE Safety & Security Summit, sponsored by the City and hosted by the awesome folks at First Baptist Church Carrollton! Dozens of religious leaders have told us they are planning to come! (But don't worry--there’s still plenty of room to register here.)

This Summit began as an idea by a caring Christian who saw a problem and wanted to address it. He leveraged his relationships with the church’s, and, working together, something good has happened for our neighborhood. Let’s pray it makes Carrollton, and specifically our churches and worshipping communities, a little safer from the kind of violence we read about all too often.

This experience is the kind of thing I hope to see more and more at Christ Church: Individuals identifying problems and taking initiative to serve others. While you’re praying for safety and security, please take an extra moment to thank Jesus for the privilege to serve Carrollton as his servants, and pray that everything we do—at the Summit and always—will bring glory to him, so that people everywhere may see his hands and face of love in ours.

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