The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Protecting God's people

Churches take steps to keep visitors, staff safe


Until someone was sexually assaulted in the church parking lot one night last winter, members of Atonement Lutheran, Barrington, Ill., thought their house of worship was safe. The building sits on a busy street in an upscale suburb.

"You don't expect it in Barrington," said Donald Wink, pastor of Atonement. "You don't expect it in a church."

  The crime jolted Atonement's leaders. They resolved to make the church a safer place. It's a situation facing an increasing number of churches, which generally lag behind the rest of society in security consciousness.

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February issue


Embracing diversity