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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Pennsylvania churches study homeland security

Pennsylvania Lutherans participated in a course on recognizing and preventing terrorist activity in places of worship. Presented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and state agencies, the course was intended “to acknowledge a reality so appropriate attention can be given to alertness,” said Julia Menzo, Lutheran Disaster Response coordinator.

“Churches can be considered easy targets because people meet at very predictable times and under very low security conditions,” Menzo said. She recommended regular security checks of church property and getting to know neighbors.

While many believe “it can’t happen here,” H. Frank Sayford, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Washington, Pa., said communities are still affected by what happens elsewhere and “we can reach out ... since we are part of God’s earthly kingdom.” He said LDR plays “a proactive role in calling congregations together, looking at how we can help each other.”


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December issue

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