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Safety and Security Plan for St. Paul’s Anglican Church

Dear Congregation,

The Vestry has been working and praying steadfastly about a Crisis Plan for St. Paul’s Church even before Pastor Jason went on Sabbatical. Whenever a disaster of any type occurs, especially at a church, there’s a pause for concern and safety – ours and others.  We realize that as ministry leaders, we cannot shield ourselves or our congregation from heartbreak. Christ warned us tragic times would come. He also promised He would be with us through every moment (Matthew 28:20). This knowledge gives us hope, comfort; and helps us cope with loss and grief. We have developed a plan as a reference in such emergencies as an active shooter, animals on campus, bomb threat, earthquake/tornado, fire/evacuation, missing person (child), and biological/chemical release. We could be ministering in the face or aftermath of a tragedy…active shooting, suspicious person, or even someone lost

All Staff, Vestry, and Crisis Team members are familiar with and will use our guide in an emergency situation at St. Paul’s beginning in September 2022 to give Pastor Jason time to catch up after returning to church. The Safety Plan will be kept readily available in all buildings and offices adjacent to an exit door; as well as a copy with the Conway Police Department.  In the coming months, we will practice at church, much like drills that we had in school.  Remember, knowing what to do in an emergency may save your life or the life of another.  We want to count on you to use your best judgment and general common sense thinking for the safety of all at St. Paul’s Church.  We cannot say if something could happen and we pray that nothing will happen in God’s house…but sometimes in this world sin happens in holy places!

Obviously, dependent upon the situation and circumstances, all guidelines may not apply in all instances, we cannot predict but we can plan! The Vestry and Crisis Team will play an important role in providing a safe and secure Christian environment for our congregation, clergy, ministry staff, and ourselves. We pray that no harm will come, but we need to be prepared if something occurs to put us in harm’s way.

Certain aspects of this plan will only be shared with those who need to know and kept confidential as needed.  We sincerely hope we never have to use this plan in a real disaster, but must be prepared if a crisis should arise.  In order to help us be prepared, we will be sending out a survey to the congregation and regardless if anything applies to you, we need to update our records with your family names, mailing address, email, and phone contacts by September. Look for the Safety/Security Survey and return with your offering, to the church office, or to a Vestry member:  Jack Benson, Mike Strite, Neil Spellerberg, Bev Kimbell, Ryan Smith, Betsy Bullard, and Ryan Saulsbury.  Again, we thank you and as Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some entertained angels unaware.”

In God’s peace,

St. Paul’s Vestry, Clergy, and Church Staff