Public event to explore gun violence in the church, offer prevention strategies and response training
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will host a workshop to address gun violence in the church on Sunday, April 7. The two-part series, titled “Church Safety and Pastoral Care in Violent Times,” will explore active shooter scenarios, church safety best practices, security training policies and strategies on how best to minister to a congregation following an act of violence. Held in partnership with the Mid-Kentucky Presbytery’s Disaster, Education, Preparedness and Response Team (DePART), this workshop is the first of its kind in the region. It will be held on Louisville Seminary’s campus at 1044 Alta Vista Road from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The idea for the workshop was spawned by recent shooting tragedies around the country. "When the Sandy Hook, Aurora, and other community shootings happened, they were the furthest things from my mind. A shooting in a movie theater, in an elementary school, in a local church meeting? I felt a kinship with all those affected and wondered how my church would react in such a circumstance,” said Rev. Donna Melloan, the DePART co-chair and former dean of students Louisville Seminary. “We have put a disaster preparedness plan in place at Briargate Presbyterian Church where I worship, but it does not include preparedness for a shooter. I believe this workshop will help all of us prepare for the unthinkable."
The workshop will be led by Ron Aguiar, director of safety and security at Southeast Christian Church, and Rev. Dr. Laurie Ann Kraus, coordinator for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Admission is free and open to the public. Ministers, church staff, deacons, elders, faith community nurses, child care directors, ushers, counselors, youth workers, seminary students and church volunteers are among those who might benefit most. Participants will take home resources on preventing gun violence and pastoral care.
The entire workshop will take place on the first floor of Schlegel Hall at Louisville Seminary. Part one, “Church Safety in Violent Times,” will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. After a short break for dinner, part two, “Pastoral Care Response in the Wake of Violence,” will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Participants are free to attend one or both sessions. Registration is required. To register, contact Pat Welsh at 502-629-2702 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Louisville Seminary
Founded in 1853, Louisville Seminary offers an inclusive and diverse learning community, welcoming students from wide ecumenical backgrounds while maintaining its long, historic commitment to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Louisville Seminary is committed to building bridges across the world's religious, racial and cultural divides. It is distinguished by its nationally-recognized marriage and family therapy and field education programs, the scholarship and church service among its faculty and a commitment to training women and men to participate in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ.