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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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No safe place

As much as we want to see churches as places of peace and refuge, to the country's largest insurer of church buildings, they are one more expression of what is happening in society — complete with hostage-takings and acts of terror.

Church Mutual Insurance Co., Merrill, Wis., now offers "catastrophic violence response coverage" for major acts of violence that occur on church property.

"Enough violent events have occurred to warrant creating a coverage," said CEO Gerald Whitburn. The company's research turned up at least 12 shootings or bombings at U.S. churches in the past three years, which would have been covered with up to an additional $300,000 that Church Mutual now offers. Whitburn cited a May 2000 shooting by a Kentucky man of his estranged wife and another woman at a church service.


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November issue

NOVEMBER issue:

The ELCA's aging clergy wave

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