Newark, OH

This has been a year full of unwelcome subjects, to speak candidly as a pastor, a preacher and a columnist. There are matters we want to talk about, things we know we should be discussing, and then there are those shadows across our path that we’re used to just ignoring. Global affairs and local incidents have put the phrase “active shooter” on everyone’s lips. The new topic of conversation is ALICE. Like most acronyms, it’s easy to be dismissive of the whole thing. I’m going to remember all that? But with regular training, and some visual reinforcement, plus having clearly designated people with the task of handling those first couple of steps IMMEDIATELY – whether we’re talking about a funnel cloud, a gas leak or a guy with a gun seen in a stairwell – it’s a very workable method to teach preparedness. So we’re talking, at my church, about “Run-Hide-Fight,” and about ALICE, and about who does what. Not who’s going to be a hero, or how we’re just going to pray enemies away from ever opening our door, but having the basics of assembly and evacuation ready to undergird our faith with action. Read more