Friday, June 22

U.S. Priest Found Guilty In Church Abuse Case

From: Reuters

"A monsignor who oversaw hundreds of priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese was found guilty on Friday of one count of endangering the welfare of a child, making him the first senior U.S. Roman Catholic Church official to be convicted for covering up child sex abuse."

Wednesday, June 20

TravelCell - Mission Trip Cell Phone Rentals

Last year my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to several countries in Europe. We decided to rent a travel cell phone to allow us to make local phone calls while in country. We were also glad to have the phone in case of an emergency. After lots of research I decided to use a company called TravelCell. TravelCell offered the most competitive rates and even included free incoming calls. The free incoming calls were an extra benefit that allowed family back in the United States to be able to stay in touch at a low cost.

One of my readers is traveling to Europe next week and asked about contacts for cell phone rentals. I was able to contact TravelCell and set up a special program for Security at Church readers.

How and why can this benefit you?

Churches and religious organizations are often sending members on mission trips to other countries. Using a rental cell phone can dramatically save money over using US based personal cell phones with high roaming charges. Satellite phones are also available when traveling to remote locations such as parts of Africa or other third world locations.

With TravelCell you receive the following Advantages:

• Free incoming calls in many countries
• Bluetooth & camera phones
• Toll free service & local U.S. numbers available
• Receive phone and number prior to departure
• Low rates & great service
• Corporate & group discounts
• Nationwide delivery
• 24/7 customer service

TravelCell Products:

• International cell phone rentals
• Satellite phone rentals
• Blackberry rentals
• SIM card rentals (iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, etc.)
• USB Air-cards for laptops
• GPS Rentals
• MiFi – Personal Hotspot

Click for TravelCell Rental Information
Promotional Code: BG12

The Value of Vigilance - Carl Chinn

The Value of Vigilance
(Taken from Carl's book Evil Invades Sanctuary)

By: Carl Chinn

Mom was a Sunday school teacher. I recall how she told the story of Gideon’s fight with the Midianites. With the odds already stacked against Gideon by sheer numbers, the Lord wanted him to engage the enemy with even fewer men so there would be no doubt as to Who truly saved the day. The Lord directed Gideon to select the men by watching how they drank water.

I remember how we were spellbound first-graders as she read Judges 7: 5-7;

So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink." Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. The LORD said to Gideon, "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place."

I will never forget how Mom dramatically mimicked a dog lapping water. She delivered a lasting impression of how dogs lay their head almost flat over the water and dip their tongues into it, never taking their eyes away from constant searching for action.

According to Mom, the other men were making everyone vulnerable as they dropped to their knees and looked straight down into the water, laughing and talking as if there were no danger around. Her obvious point was that the Lord is looking for people who are vigilant.

Vigilance is always crucial; attentiveness results in awareness.

On the quiet afternoon of September 7th, 1876, a young man by the name of Henry Wheeler was home in Northfield, Minnesota taking leave from his medical studies at Michigan University. Sitting under an awning in front of his father’s store across from the bank, he watched three strangers ride into town. He saw them stop at the bank and throw their reins over the hitching posts. But they did not tie the reins. Other similar observations resulted in him and others being ready when the first shots were fired by the bad guys in the bank. When the incident was over, the Jesse James / Cole Younger gang would never ride together again. Common townspeople foiled one of the most notorious gangs in U.S. history, because a college student noticed the reins weren’t tied.

Think About It

  • Had young Henry Wheeler simply noticed that the reins were untied, and did nothing about it, the results would have been different. More people would have died in future bank robberies from the violent gang.
  • Vigilance without being prepared to act is simply watching. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was the Lutheran pastor executed in Germany for his part in plans to assassinate Adolf Hitler. He said, "If I see a madman driving a car into a group of innocent bystanders, then I can't, as a Christian, simply wait for the catastrophe and then comfort the wounded and bury the dead. I must try to wrestle the steering wheel out of the hands of the driver.”

Tuesday, June 19

Women Arrested in Indiana for Breaking Church Window

From: WANE.Com

{GARRETT, Ind. (WANE) A Garrett woman was arrested and faces charges after police say she broke a large window at a church and smeared blood on the front of the post office.

Garrett Police say it happened Saturday, just before 4:30 a.m. When police arrived on the scene they found 18-year-old Maitlin Craig covered in blood with cuts to her palm and skin missing on her big toes. Craig had a blood-alcohol content of .18.

The damage to the Garrett United Methodist Church's window is estimated to be about $7,000.}

Click for Article

New Mexico Pastor in Need of Security Upgrade

From: News Channel 10

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Thieves have hit a historic Santa Fe church twice, and its pastor says the shrine is in dire need of a security upgrade.

KRQE-TV reports ( that the Santuario de Guadalupe was robbed last week after a thief pried open a little wooden box that holds donations from the faithful and swiped the money inside. Someone also busted through rod iron bars in the back of the church, broke a window and stole two wooden crosses.

Click for Article

Thursday, June 14

Think About It: A Time To Speak

A Time to Speak
By: Carl Chinn

Some months back I wrote about good times to be quiet – there are a lot of them. But there are also times to speak. It takes wisdom to know the difference – courage and resolve to speak when it’s time.

The clergy / penitent privilege is one of the great things about our wonderful nation. We have the ability to confide in our pastor or priest without fear of our confessions becoming gossip. This is a right (some states call it priest / penitent privilege, clergy privilege, confessional privilege or ecclesiastical privilege) protected by each state by state statutes (§).

There are conditions to that clergy / penitent privilege in many of those individual states however which mandate disclosure of certain confessions to law enforcement or social services. These mandated requirements are typically focused on protecting the welfare of children who may be in danger of neglect or abuse.

With all laws there is a certain amount of ignorance in the application. Many who are in pastoral positions dismiss the importance of this reporting structure, and the application is a grey area at times. For example, what if the person is talking about an act that occurred some years back, and no child is currently in danger? Some state statutes are better at the interpretation of that than others, and many don’t address it at all.

A lot of attention has been on the Etan Patz story recently. As many of you know, 6-year-old Etan left his lower Manhattan home on 5/25/1979 bound for his bus-stop to go to school. It was the very first time he had made the 2 block journey alone. Nobody has seen him since. Now the investigation is centered on a man who (among other things) told his church bible study group in the early 1980’s that he had killed little Etan.

In this case, part of the gray area is that the killer didn’t confess is to a pastor. He confessed it to a bible-study group. Even though there were about 50 people in the group, there is no record of any of them coming forward. At least one now says she did report it, and she very well may have. If so however, the report was not followed up on (at best). While there are moral obligations to report some things, legal obligations to do so are often difficult to prove.

Think About it:

  • Beyond (but based on) the law, the insurance coverage for many churches has a clause requiring reporting of certain crimes. Each church security leader should have a full copy of the church insurance policy and become familiar with all aspects of it – especially the mandatory reporting sections.
  • There is a case right now in Antioch California where 6 sisters are suing their former church and specific pastors for failing to protect them. One of the girls had gone to their pastor to report abuse in the home in 1995. While the pastor knew he must report it to authorities, he tipped of the parents first so they would have a “heads up”. The girls were allegedly subjected to awful treatment and pre-conditioning of what they could say before authorities visited their home. Read more at the East Bay News.
  • Grooming of relationships is in the DNA of an abuser. He, she or they will be persuasive with relationships. They could be a “pillar in the community”. Those close to them will “feel bad” for them, and not want to see them get in trouble. Please understand that is part of their con-game. Deal with abuse directly and decisively.
  • As security operators have these discussions with your church leadership. Sit down with the pastoral staff and the counselors and make sure they are all aware of both moral and legal obligations. When the specific situation is unclear, make sure there is diligence and counsel applied in walking through it.
  • As with all church security issues, have an attorney close by. Do not try to read the state statutes without legal help – it is too important of an issue.


If you have been following this blog for any length of time you may have noticed that I go through spurts of posting everyday and then there is the occasional two-week gap. All that I can say is “life” sometimes just gets in the way. Stay tuned as I try to get us back on track…