Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Blog

A SHORT DESCRIPTION ABOUT YOUR BLOG

In  the President’s plan to reduce gun violence the statistics related to school risk and emergency planning mirror the same needs as those of houses of worship.

“A 2010 survey found that while 84 percent of public schools had a written response plan in the event of a shooting, only 52 percent had drilled their students on the plan in the past year. We must ensure that every school has a high-quality plan in place and that students and staff are prepared to follow it.”

In May of this year DHS will work intentionally to address this sobering statistic for schools and houses of worship.  The Department of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services will be releasing model, high-quality emergency management plans for schools, houses of worship, and institutions of higher education, along with best practices for developing these plans and training students and staff to follow them. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Department of Justice, will assist interested schools, houses of worship, and institutions of higher education in completing their own security assessments.

 

A ReadyChristian  is someone who takes the stewardship of what God has bestowed upon them as a blessing. Criminals look for signs of an empty house. If you are traveling take a few of these steps to insure your home is protected while you are away:

 With over 60 million people likely affected by Hurricane Sandy due to make landfall hours from now carrying 8 -12 foot water surges and two feet of snow in some areas it will likely paralyze the east coast for several days if not weeks. Over 900 miles of the U.S. east coast and inland as far as the Michigan will be affected. And with one week or more of power outages in the area commonly transacting business that affects the nation, we are all likely to feel the effects even if we do not live on the east coast and have to go to shelters. This has the potential to become the largest storm in the history of the U.S. as 90 mile an hour winds are unsustainable in terms of key infrastructure. For most people today just being without their cell phone alone produces anxiety, much less the frustration which comes from over 8,000 flights which have been cancelled now affecting flights coast to coast. Then, if you factor the frustrations of not being able to get to meetings with the transit systems shut down, you now have a perfect storm in not only the physical arena but the spiritual, emotional and mental one as well.

CEN would agree with much of what FEMA Director Craig Fugate, a well respected first responder with a wealth of experience, said yesterday: “It’s going to really come down to the public heeding those evacuation orders, taking protective measures. If they haven’t gotten ready, they can go to Ready.gov Get information on how to protect them and their families, but also check on your neighbors. This is going to be a big storm. We need to be there for each other.” His reference to “we need to be there for each other” is a striking departure from the traditional FEMA Ready messaging - make your own plan, make your own kit and get informed. The Director is now calling for us to help each other rather than merely thinking of ourselves. 

As Christians we know we need to be there for each other and we need to “be there” spiritually, emotionally, mentally as well as physically. Since the government website, while filled with much good information, cannot help you learn how to be spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically ready to help yourself and others from a biblical worldview, CEN has developed the ReadyChristian training program as a self-study or small group study in order to develop a support response network of family and friends, to prepare and to respond biblically to crisis of all kinds, large or small.

God is our refuge and strength an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though the waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging…”Be still, and KNOW that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalm 46:3, 10-11

 

Some years ago while serving on staff of a local church with all of its many daily leadership responsibilities, our family had a crisis that set us on our heels emotionally and spiritually.  The situation was so devastating we were almost blinded and rendered immobile by the overwhelming emotions and spiritual implications. At the time it did not appear as if there would ever be a good way through this crisis. And, as is so common to those in crisis, we were so shocked all we did was focus upon the crisis itself.

It was in this crisis moment, my pastoral mentor prayed with us and challenged us to read stand on Psalm 91 each day. I learned to trust God in a new way and Psalm 91 was an integral part of the journey back from the spiritual precipice to a secure place in the shelter of God’s arms. We literally read it over and over again every day until the peace that passes understanding came to us. And, now 18 years later, what was once a huge daunting crisis has now been turned for good to them who love the Lord. Ever since that time, Psalm 91 is my “go to” place when I sense my emotional and spiritual security compass may be getting jostled. Here is why Psalms 91 is so powerful for me.

Washington DC

Following a briefing today from the Department of Homeland Security related to the attacks on the embassies in Egypt and Libya, the U.S. based Christian Emergency Network and U.S. Muslim Public Affairs appeared on the steps of the U.S. State Department to demonstrate solidarity in condemning the two attacks. CEN President Mary Marr and Muslim Public Affairs President Salam Al-Mayarti serve on the Department of Homeland Security Faith-based Security and Communications Committee.

CEN’s Public Information Officer Misti McHatton issued the following statement: