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Safety Measures

The following is the text of a letter that most of you will get in your mailbox next week. I know many of you communicate better via blog/Facebook/Twitter and don’t often open your mail unless it is money related, so I am posting this here.images

February 13, 2017

Dear Church Family,

I am putting this in writing to you for a several reasons. I need all of us to know this and if I just announce it on Sunday morning, you may be absent or attending to something else in the building when it is said. I also don’t want to use worship time to address logistics and quite honestly, I don’t want to unnecessarily frighten the children. There is much that goes on behind the scenes of Antioch Church that you never see and planning for safety in the event of an emergency is one of them.

This letter is to let you know what we need you to do in the event of an attack or an emergency. In the world we live in today, it is not uncommon for churches to be the target of a domestic terrorist attack. We have no reason to believe anyone would target Antioch but we do believe God wants us to be prepared so here is what you need to know.

  1. In the event of an active shooter, we need you to protect yourself first and allow our safety team to deal with the intruder. Because we believe in the constitutional right to bear arms, a number of us have conceal carry permits and often have weapons on us. However, during a terrorism attack, the greatest danger is that innocent bystanders will get hurt in a crossfire so please do not utilize your weapon unless you are under direct attack. We have men in place, who we do not identify for obvious reasons, and they have a plan they have been trained and prepared to execute in case of such an emergency. Please do not complicate the situation for them.
  2. In the event of an active shooter, part of our safety team will immediately secure our children and shelter them in place or move them as quickly as possible out of the building, depending on their assessment of the danger. Please do not attempt to go get your children – you will not be allowed in until the police and our safety team has declared it “all clear.”
  3. In the event of a medical emergency, we ask that all nurses, doctors, and EMT’s make themselves available to our security team and follow their directions. If you are unsure where to go, check with the people in the sound and video booth. There is an AED available in Information Central in the lobby of the Worship Center.
  4. If you experience an emergency of any kind, inform someone in the sound and video booth and they will secure assistance.
  5. In the event of a fire, exit the building as quickly as possible in a safe and orderly manner. Determine from where you sit or attend Small Group, the nearest exit and plan accordingly. Again, please do not stay in the building and go looking for your children – we will move them to a safe location in an orderly manner.
  6. When possible, announcements will be made continually over the PA reminding you of these guidelines. Please listen carefully and follow instructions.
  7. Please abide by guidelines established by our Children and Preschool ministry teams even when there is no emergency. Check-in and check-out procedures are for the safety of our children and to make sure no one can pick up a child that should not. The weekly rhythm of adhering to these policies insure us against that one exception that could devastate the church and your family. The inconvenience is worth it and we will know we are successful if that inconvenience is all you ever have to deal with.
  8. Please be patient with us when doors are locked during services. If you arrive late, you may have to walk to one of the main doors. Once our kids classes are underway, we want it to be hard to get in that part of the building without passing a staff member or safety team member. A key to that is being on time, but that is a sermon for another day. 🙂
  9. On a similar note, we strongly discourage you from going out locked doors except in an emergency and strongly encourage you to use the main exits as people often step out those doors and don’t make sure they are closed, leaving our children vulnerable. Anytime you go out a door, please make sure it latches behind you.

Obviously, we cannot plan for every possible emergency, but if you will be aware and cooperative in the event of an emergency, our chances of coming through it unscathed are much better. If you have specific questions, see Pastor Lewy Cornett, who is our Lead Pastor over safety issues.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Pastor Pete

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