*Safety Team Updates - From Jason Urbahns, Safety Team Director

Both of the St. Matthew campuses have been making improvements when it comes to our safety. We, the St. Matthew Lutheran Church (SMLC) Safety Team leadership, are making several enhancements to the premises in order to make our Church as safe, yet still as welcoming, as possible.

When the Executive Board asked me to lead our new Safety Team, I asked myself two things. What is “safety” relative to St. Matthew? What would our “mission” be? Here are my answers to those questions, as well as how I plan to lead this team:

  1. Safety means that a person’s spiritual, emotional, and physical self are protected from injury.
  2. The SMLC Safety Team exists to ensure a safe and secure environment for guests and members of St. Matthew to assemble and worship our Lord. We strive to welcome all who enter our doors and treat them with the love and dignity that God bestows upon each and every one of us. Unfortunately, we cannot simply assume that our church is a safe place. We know that we cannot eliminate all risks, but we can strive to reduce risks by taking proactive and direct actions. The safety team wants people of all ages to be able to deepen their relationship with God and each other in an environment that is safe and secure. It is in this spirit that the SMLC Safety Team was created.

One of the improvements occurred in December, when St. Matthew upgraded all of the Walled Lake campus exterior doors to electronic access-controlled keycard entry.  These doors are unlocked at specified times, or by use of a keycard. After years of issuing numerous keys to various church members, we no longer had control over the security of our buildings and felt that it was necessary to control access to our buildings by the use of current technology.

If you are in need of a keycard and do not have one, please submit a request to your ministry/team leader.  In February, St. Matthew began the process of upgrading most of the Walled Lake campus interior doors to have access-controlled keycard entry.  These improvements ensure a higher level of safety that all of our staff, students, congregation, and guests deserve. Again, if you do not have a keycard, but need one, please speak with your ministry/team leader. We have made other improvements as well and continue to look at additional safety upgrades at both campuses.

Over the years some of our membership reached out concerning CPL permissions. During the review and update of the St. Matthew's Safety Policy, the CPL Application process and required documentation has been revised.  To be compliant with the new requirements, St. Matthew is at this time revoking all CPL permissions previously granted. If you wish to have permission, please contact me, Jason Urbahns, to secure the proper application. If you are a law enforcement officer, I ask as a courtesy, that you send me an email notifying St. Matthew of your intent to exercise your exemption.

We understand there will be growing pains as we make all of these changes. For those of you wanting to learn more about the SMLC Safety Team and how to assist us, or if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email me.

Jason Urbahns
Safety Team Director
Acts 20:28