On Monday, the day after a gunman opened fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., and killed 26 people, the Rev. Patrick Perkins, rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 1307 Holmes St., in Kansas City, donned his black vestment again. "You'll see that I'm wearing black and black of course is the color of death," said Perkins, who said a Requiem Eucharist for Victims of Violence in the church's small chapel. "In a Requiem, we pray for the souls of the departed," said Perkins, who also wore the black vestments during two services for victims killed in Las Vegas massacre. "We're not to a place where we know exactly what we're going to do as far as dealing with the security of our congregation," said Perkins, who added that The Diocese of West Missouri, the diocese of The Episcopal Church, prohibits weapons of any sort in their churches. "We've been lucky thus far, but I think for many of us, our main concern is this epidemic in our country of violence," said Perkins. "Violence either in the name of religion or violence that's affecting religion of all sorts." According to Perkins, the leadership in the Diocese is talking about the broader issue of gun violence and what we may be able to do to stymie it." "Our hearts continue to go out for those who have lost loved ones in the midst of this," said Perkins. "Our thoughts and prayers are also with our community and that maybe in someway Kansas City will find a way to lead in this issue." Tammy Ljungblad The Kansas City Star
On Monday, the day after a gunman opened fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., and killed 26 people, the Rev. Patrick Perkins, rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 1307 Holmes St., in Kansas City, donned his black vestment again. "You'll see that I'm wearing black and black of course is the color of death," said Perkins, who said a Requiem Eucharist for Victims of Violence in the church's small chapel. "In a Requiem, we pray for the souls of the departed," said Perkins, who also wore the black vestments during two services for victims killed in Las Vegas massacre. "We're not to a place where we know exactly what we're going to do as far as dealing with the security of our congregation," said Perkins, who added that The Diocese of West Missouri, the diocese of The Episcopal Church, prohibits weapons of any sort in their churches. "We've been lucky thus far, but I think for many of us, our main concern is this epidemic in our country of violence," said Perkins. "Violence either in the name of religion or violence that's affecting religion of all sorts." According to Perkins, the leadership in the Diocese is talking about the broader issue of gun violence and what we may be able to do to stymie it." "Our hearts continue to go out for those who have lost loved ones in the midst of this," said Perkins. "Our thoughts and prayers are also with our community and that maybe in someway Kansas City will find a way to lead in this issue." Tammy Ljungblad The Kansas City Star

Religion

United Methodists invite others to active shooter training

By Katherine Burgess

kburgess@wichitaeagle.com

November 10, 2017 09:53 AM

UPDATED November 10, 2017 11:34 AM

The Rev. Hollie Tapley has been conducting active shooter trainings in churches for the past year and a half.

When 26 people — including eight children and teenagers — were shot and killed when a gunman opened fire at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the calls for trainings grew.

Tapley, who is the disaster response coordinator for the Great Plains United Methodist Conference, will offer training in Wichita on Dec. 3. Churches that are not members of the United Methodist Church are also invited.

“It’s such an important matter, unfortunately,” Tapley said. “You hate to say that we even have to talk about active shooter awareness and active shooter training. … We need to know a loving, practical way to try to save lives and to be proactive, to know what to do.”

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Tapley said research shows that working through a plan beforehand helps people to not freeze in an emergency. In the training, she’ll work through “run, hide and fight” scenarios, including some simple tips:

  • Don’t take belongings with you when running
  • Use pews for cover
  • Turn your cell phone off when hiding
  • Throw “whatever you got” at the shooter as a last resort

She often tells women that their pocketbook is the best weapon when there’s no other choice to fight. Bibles and hymnals? She’s sure God is OK with throwing those at a shooter too.

“It’s a disaster we don’t want to happen, but it could,” Tapley said. “So it’s my role as a clergy and as a person who has the passion for human beings to do this.”

The training is 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3, at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 1550 N. Chapel Hill Drive. The training is free, but registration is required at https://gp-reg.brtapp.com/Activeshootertraining. The training will also be live-streamed at Chapel Hill’s website.

Strategos International will also offer a two-day church training in Wichita at First Church of the Nazarene on March 2 and 3. More information for that training is available at https://intruderresponse.com/schedule-2/.

More than 20 dead, including pastor's daughter, after Texas church shooting

On Sunday a gunman opened fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX leaving at least 27 dead and 30 injured.

Alexa Ard McClatchy

Katherine Burgess: 316-268-6400, @KathsBurgess