Siri defines sanctuary as “a place of refuge or safety.” It’s been true for centuries. The churches I served for several decades kept their doors open for any and all to enter for solitude, prayer and counsel. All faith traditions are welcoming by nature, and aim to offer loving hospitality.
But increasing acts of hate and violence represent threats that need to be taken seriously. Our members are living with increasing anxiety and particularly our immigrant, refugee and minority communities are traumatized by federal policies and hateful rhetoric. Add to this the active shooting in worship services, and we know we need to be educating, preparing and responding better.
Thankfully, Council President Katz, and Councilmembers Albornoz and Friedson are hosting "A Discussion of Security for Our Faith Communities” on the 3rd floor in the Council Hearing Room at 100 Maryland Avenue on Thursday, February 27, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.
It will be an extraordinary opportunity for addressing the fears and identifying resources for keeping faith communities safe. I assure you that our County Council and County Executive are genuinely concerned and committed to helping us balance our security with our hospitality.
Our Faith Community Working Group has been offering workshops in partnership with the Police, Fire and Rescue Services, and the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for six years. In excess of $500,000 in grants have helped faith communities increase their security.
Few counties have faith leaders sharing such a partnership with elected and appointed public officials. Let us demonstrate our appreciation and assume our shared responsibility for assuring greater security by registering, attending and speaking out on February 27.
Details including a registration link are on the flier. By clicking on it you will receive a letter from the three Councilmembers sponsoring “A Discussion of Security for Our Faith Communities."
Shalom, Om Shanti, Sat Sri Akal, Salaam, Namaste, Peace
Rev. Mansfield "Kasey" Kaseman
Interfaith Community Liaison
Office of Community Partnerships
Empowering Houses of Worship
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✓ Get Advice from Planning to Permitting
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✓ Understand Regulative Process
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