A Message from the Ministry Team

29 January 2018

Dear members and friends,

What a privilege it is to have a beautiful, historic church building, strategically located in a thriving neighborhood! We are well-placed to do fantastic ministry in Salt Lake City for years to come. This privilege comes with responsibilities as well, one of which is to maintain the facilities to keep up with the times. Just as we’ve addressed the changing needs of the church with expansions to our religious education facilities, this spring we will begin implementing new security measures.

The security concerns of the church are varied and complex; we do not look to address a single concern, but to consider all the ways in which the church ought to be safer for its worshippers, its renters, and importantly, its staff. Some of these challenges include:

  • A spreading population of unhoused people, recently displaced from the Rio Grande area, whose needs we do not currently have the capacity to serve
  • A successful preschool program
  • Our administrative staff – especially our administrative assistant, Stefanie Park – who are frequently alone or isolated in the building
  • Many evening and weekend programs, when staff are not on grounds
  • Our unique position as a politically active religious minority in a conservative state

While there’s no sense in being inordinately anxious, it does make sense to be realistic about the world in which we live, and update our facilities accordingly. However, updating our facilities won’t mean much if we don’t also change our behaviors.

That’s why, from now on, we’re asking folks who use the church buildings to use only the main double doors to enter the building. These main doors will have a keypad with a code you’ll use instead of a key to enter the building. Other doors we’ve used in the past will no longer be accessible with a key.

At first, it might feel as though the church isn’t as “open” as it used to be. That’s true! But if you think about other public spaces you enter daily – schools, government buildings, hospitals – most of them have limited their entryways in recent years. The measures we’re taking are commonsense and overdue.

The best thing we can do to be safe from unexpected threats is to use the church often and without fear. Being friendly, greeting people you don’t recognize, and welcoming strangers is second nature to religious people, but also helps keep us safe. The next best thing we can do is to limit the number of doors through which people may enter, thereby reducing the possibility of people being in the building unnoticed.

The ministry team and the board of trustees have been working closely together on this challenge, and are prepared to answer your questions as we implement these changes. If you currently have and use a key to the building, and need to have a code instead, please contact our administrator Hal Gonzales as soon as possible.