A Letter to the Congregational Church of Burlington from Your Deacons

In light of the recent church shooting in Texas, the Deacons had a lengthy discussion during our November meeting about the safety of our own church during worship services. Could the same thing happen to us? The answer was unfortunately, yes it could.

While we hope and pray for the best, we felt it foolish of us not to plan for the worst. As a result, we identified certain precautions that could be implemented immediately, in the hope of protecting our own church from a similar incident. We made the decision to lock the doors 10 minutes after the service began (keeping in mind that they are not locked from the inside, so people can always exit).

Each week a deacon would be on duty to ensure that anyone who came to church after the doors had been locked, could get in. We were especially concerned about the location of two of our doors and the proximity to our children’s Sunday school rooms. Following Wendell’s example, we take “protecting our flock” to be part of what you entrusted us to do when you voted us in as deacons. We all wish what has been going on in the world wasn’t happening, but realistically we know it is and want to try to keep everyone safe. We didn’t want to upset folks more than they already were by the current happenings, so we quietly put our plan into place.

It has been brought to our attention that the path we chose was perhaps not the best one, and we are deeply sorry if our actions have offended anyone. It was never our intention to keep anyone out of the church on Sunday and anyone who has arrived after the doors where locked was promptly let in by the deacon on duty.

In light of the fact that some folks are not comfortable with the path we chose, we have stopped locking the doors and we are referring the issue of church safety to Church Council to decide what, if anything should be done.

We wanted to take this opportunity to assure everyone that we care very much about each and every one of you. Our intentions were only good, even if our execution was lacking.

We want to be an open and welcoming church, here for all who wish to join us in worship. A safe place for people to come and participate in fellowship with God and his son our savior Jesus Christ.

Your humble servants,

The Deacons