The grants carry a maximum of $50,000. To date, 97 organizations have qualified for the first round of the grants. Two Southern New England UCC churches in Connecticut were among those organizations: Wilton Congregational Church and First Church of Guilford.
In a message to the Southern New England Conference posted on Facebook on Wednesday, Executive Conference Minister the Rev. Darrell Goodwin addresses safety in general for churches and named three actions to consider in these times.
First, he suggested churches be in contact with local police agencies and those that have existing relationships with local police reach out to have a conversation about safety at the church. Church leaders may even wish to invite local authorities to come tour their properties to help them begin discussions about security.
Second, following the example of the Wilton and Guilford churches, Rev. Goodwin recommended that churches explore the possibilities of local and federal grants that might assist in enhancing the security of church properties. Though the first round of the Connecticut grants has already been awarded, the federal government may provide additional funds.
Finally, he asked that churches begin to form plans around security. He shared that the Conference is already having deliberate conversations about security practices such as security cameras and new security equipment for doors and windows at the Hartford and Framingham properties. “As we’re thinking about the safety from a COVID perspective, we’re also thinking about safety and security of our buildings” he said.
Rev. Goodwin finished by asking churches to follow scripture, “which actually says watch and pray, which means we can be prayerful and faithful and totally trust God. And we can be watchful and thoughtful about how to make sure that our buildings are as safe as they possibly can be.”
Drew Page is the Media and Data Manager for the Southern New England Conference, and a member of the Conference's Communications Team. He writes and edits news, blogs, and devotionals, produces video, and spends a week each summer as a Dean at Silver...