Saturday, February 2

Church Congregations Consider use of Armed Guards

From: Columbus Dispatch

At St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church, leaders take seriously their job of protecting the flock.

Even before the shooting that left more than two dozen dead at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in December, surveillance cameras monitored the Downtown church’s grounds, visitors had to be buzzed into offices, and ushers were trained in how best to respond to emergencies.

But the discomfort level rises when the discussion turns to the best way to handle a weapon-bearing intruder, said the Rev. Virginia Lohmann Bauman, senior pastor over the United Church of Christ community of about 350. Like people at many other worship places, St. John’s members don’t feel that armed security guards belong in the sanctuary.

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