Alka's Angle October 8, 2021

Dear Broadway Family,


Earlier this week several of us from church attended a training offered by Officers Heath and Specht from the Chicago Police Department Place of Worship Safety Advisory Team (POWSAT). The program consisted of Greeter protocols as well as Active Threat information and situational awareness. Those who attended agreed that the information we received was very helpful.


Now, I know that it is sad that the world we currently live in calls for such awareness. And, we recognize that there is a very fine balance between our desire to keep everyone in our building safe, and continuing to be a church -- a place where all persons are welcome, and perhaps why, I feel, it is even more important that many of us are educated, prepared and aware of the signs and warnings. However, another fact is that the threat can be anything -- from an active shooting to a natural disaster, and the more we are familiar with the safety protocol in the building, the easier it will be for all of us to respond in a safe way, if it ever happens.


I hope to invite the officers back for another session, at a time when more members of our community can attend. I believe the tools are helpful not only for us as members of a faith community, but also for any situation.


I received a blessing a few weeks ago when Anna Naden, a resident of Lakeview reached out to me offering to help with congregational care. I had a meeting with her, once alone and then with the student interns and together we decided to accept her offer. We recognize that while many folk have stayed safe in their homes or apartments, due to COVID, they also feel isolated. I know many of us long to have someone to talk with. So, in the future if you receive a call from Anna, please know that she is a volunteer of our pastoral team, and is leading our congregational care ministry. If you know of someone who may benefit from a friendly call, please let us know.


Beloveds, there is a lot of pain in our world. Every person is dealing with something in their lives that we may not be aware of. And, for many, just surviving is a struggle. The anxiety around us, cut-throat attitude and competition in work places, supremacist ideologies and racist behaviors -- all of these cause lots of mental and emotional stress among folk. It is important that we stay focused on the most important thing -- to try to love unconditionally, to offer care for one another, to stand in support of each other, and to work towards building God’s kin-dom here and now.


And, remember, I am always with you in this work, and I look forward to seeing you in worship this Sunday!