Conference Minister The Rev. Darrell Goodwin recorded an update for churches and clergy on Jan. 16, inviting them to be prayerful and alert in response to information circulating about the potential for threats against progressive churches in the coming days.
He was responding to information posted by national UCC leaders about credible threats against government buildings and liberal institutions that were received by a couple of Conference Ministers and an ecumenical partner. (The national setting has posted that information at ucc.org.)
Watch the video update at right. He makes the following tips:
- Be in touch with your local law enforcement to stay connected about information and safety guidance if needed.
- Be in touch with your lay leaders, offering words of comfort as well as resources as they become available.
- Be in touch with anyone who uses your building during this time and make sure they are aware of safety procedures if the building will remain open over the next few days.
- Continue to monitor the Conference Website and Facebook Pages for information and invitations to gather.
- Continue to Be The Church: Pray, Serve, Love for God is with us.
The following message was sent to clergy and churches on Jan. 14:
These are tender, challenging, yet hopeful times for our country, for our churches, and for each of us. While we must not be governed by fear, it is important for us to be aware of what’s happening in our communities to keep our neighbors and ourselves safe. Major news outlets are mentioning the possibility of threats, particularly against government buildings, in connection with the inauguration. Since many of our churches are near local government facilities, we recommend the following basic guidelines for churches and their leaders:
- Stay in touch with local officials and follow their guidance in the event of any concerns.
- Completely close your building on Jan. 20, i.e., have no one in the building. [Many church buildings are already closed because of pandemic guidelines.]
The Insurance Board has a document, Protecting Your Church: Considerations in the Wake of Civil Unrest, that you may find helpful.
UCC leaders have also posted thoughts and suggestions for the time leading into the inauguration here: Amid pre-inauguration turmoil, UCC leaders suggest do’s, don’t’s
Area Conference Ministers will offer times for prayer and community on Jan. 19. Watch for an announcement from your ACM’s office.
May God bless all of us as, together, we minister in Christ’s name.