Hello church family,
As many of you are aware, the tragedy near us in Sutherland Springs has wrought devastation to that community and lives too numerous to count. I cannot fathom the depth of pain, suffering, and torment that they have had to endure and will continue to endure. It has been asked why God would allow such a wretched wicked event like this to occur. Why would God allow this person to unleash such evil, especially this close to home? I do not know the answers to these questions. I do not know why God chose to allow this to happen. But I trust that God is good, God has seen, and God will judge. I also trust that He has a reason and one day we will be shown why He allowed this, and that reason will be justified, because God is good.
This has obviously caused many of you, if not all of us, to think through our own church and whether this could happen to us. What are we going to do about this? How will we approach protecting ourselves, our family, our friends, our children, and our elderly? I have received several tools, resources, contacts, etc. related to church safety and I want to genuinely thank you for sending us this information. This gives us much to work with and if you come across something useful please send it our way.
I want you to know that we are actively working through our security policies, procedures, and completing a security team that will help with not only active shooter situations, but all emergency situations, including medical emergencies, fires, and so on. This work began before I arrived but has reignited in earnest this week. Several of our people have begun receiving training, I have begun examining example of church security plans and seeing how we can implement them at our church, and I joined 30-40 other pastors and church representatives at Cowboy Fellowship Church this afternoon to speak with members of law enforcement from Pleasanton and Jourdanton to equip us to deal with security threats.
Here are a few things we will be doing in the future:
1) Creating and training a security team, equipped to handle emergency situations that arise at our church.
2) Work with local law enforcement to examine our facilities and policies and improve the way we protect our people
3) Explore options for increasing our effectiveness in deterring, preventing, and reacting to security threats.
4) Implementing effective and efficient ways of deterring, preventing, and reacting to security threats.
In the meantime, I want to address your hearts. We are all hurting and we have a level of fear that something like this could happen to us. This is a natural and appropriate reaction to have in the face of this event. But, above and beyond what can happen to our lives here, our God is reigning and we are assured that all wrongs will be righted, and our home will be in paradise. We are assured this because Jesus walked willingly to the tragedy of the cross, bore it, tasted death, and conquered the grave, and thereby sin, death, and the devil as well. He knows our pain, and He knows our tragedy, and furthermore, He knows how to alleviate it. We will have fear, but we have been given hope and courage that overwhelms our terror, just as Christ overwhelmed the grave. Please rest in God's promises and His character.
I am available if any of you needs help processing this event, your fears, or anything related or unrelated to this tragedy. Please don't hesitate to contact me. I am praying for all of you and we are working hard to ensure that Community Bible Chapel is safe and secured. We will notify you as decisions arise.