Hello church members and visitors,
The Christmas Holiday is upon us, and this special season symbolizes many things to many people. It encourages us to look at all that we should be and are thankful for. With this said, our FUMCFW Security Team, Staff, and Preparedness Committee wants to address a subject matter near and dear to many of us — our children!
As we all know, our church is a place for all to come and worship God and share God’s love together. Ours is a church with an inviting, inclusive atmosphere with doors that are open to all who come to worship. And, while not all of the faces we meet or greet may be familiar to us, we strive to remain inviting and hospitable to all who visit the church and its services. Nevertheless, in our ongoing commitment to child(ren) safety, our Security Team, Staff, and Preparedness Committee also encourage and suggest that some of the following thoughts remain top of mind for all of us as we take part in the upcoming Christmas Holiday Services and activities:
- Remain vigilant of your child(ren) during activities on or away from the church grounds.
- Do not entrust the care of your child to anyone you are not familiar with or who is estranged in relationship to you or your family.
- Make every effort to have a responsible adult accompany your child to the restroom at all times. If the child you have in your care is of the opposite sex, remain near the restroom door until the child is out of the restroom.
- Do not assume that your child or teenager is somewhere just because they said they would be. Verify your child’s whereabouts and reiterate instructions to your young child(ren) where they are to remain until escorted by a responsible and trusted individual.
- For the sake of a child potentially losing contact with his or her parent, we suggest that parents explain to the child(ren) prior to visiting church or other holiday activities the importance of finding a member of Security Team, a Peace Officer, or, while at church, an Usher or Greeter immediately if they feel “lost.” These individuals are in place for the safety of the child(ren) and have protocols in place to quickly locate the parent(s) if needed. At our church, these individuals have all gone through background checks and the Ministry Safe certification to help ensure the safety of our children while on our church campus. (If you are not familiar with the Ministry Safe program and certification process, it is a national child safety education and information program we have adopted here at First United Methodist Church to establish safety protocols and procedures for our children.)
- When in doubt or if you have safety questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the main Security phone number at 817-443-1980. In addition, Security would like to remind you that our Emergency Text Messaging Notification System is now in place, thanks to the work and dedication of our Preparedness Committee. This system allows quick notification to all who have “opted in” to be notified of any emergency situation on the church campus or that has affected the church campus, including medical emergencies, tornado/weather warnings, bomb threats, disruptive or violent behavior, fire emergencies and evacuations, or criminal activity. The system has multiple uses and we are fortunate to have it in place for any emergency needs which may arise. To learn more or to “opt in” if you haven’t done so already, please take a few minutes to stop by the Welcome Center before or after Sunday services and get yourself opted into the system for notifications as soon as possible.
Wishing You All, A Safe And Happy Holiday,
Director of Security