Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church

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Chapel Hill Blog

Keeping our kids safe

Posted by Pastor Mark Toone on

I’m sure every person in this church would agree: there is nothing more important than the safety, security and well-being of our kids. Which is why we invited the Department of Homeland Security to come in and assess our building with an eye to the security of our children. To sum up their response: our building is like Swiss cheese with openings all over the place. Without alterations, it would be virtually impossible to secure the spaces where our children are being trained and cared for.

When your elders heard this, they instructed that the upgrading of security in our children’s wing was to be a top priority. We have now completed the lion's share of those changes and I want to inform you of some of them so that you won’t be surprised when you show up in two weeks for our worship services. This might mean tweaking your weekend routine, but as I said, I know you’d agree that our kids are worth it.

Beginning in two weekends, November 23-24, the ONLY access point to the family wing will be through Entrance C.

All children will be checked in at this location using our new computerized system which will produce an ID tag both for kids and for parents. You will not be able to pick up your kid without that tag! (I guess we will have a storage area for unclaimed children...just kidding!)

This means that, starting November 23-24, there will be NO access through Doors A and B (the doors closest to Rosedale.). We will have signs to remind you and hosts to direct you—but you AIN’T coming in through those two doors! 

If you have kids and need to check them in, you can also enter through the Sanctuary doors (D and E) and walk down to the check-in station at Door C. And if you don't have kids but want to enter through Door C and walk to the Sanctuary, you can certainly do that as well!

 I apologize ahead of time for any inconvenience—but I don’t apologize too much. This is the only way that we can provide good security for our kids and, if it means having to walk a little further in the rain to get to your entrance door, I’m sure you’ll agree it is a price worth paying.

Our new interior security doors that lead from Door C to the Memorial Chapel and straight down to other children's classrooms will also be in place and functioning starting November 23-24. The security doors will closed and locked between 6:45-7:45 pm Saturdays and from 9:10-10:00 am Sundays, and then again from 11:00 am-noon Sundays. This is roughly 10-15 minutes after the worship services begin. 

It's important to know that parents/grandparents/guardians will have access to their children at any time by presenting their check-in sticker to the attendant at the interior security doors. When you pick up kids after worship services, the doors will be open and you will go to their respective classrooms (for nursery through pre-K) or the chapel (for elementary-age kids). You will then check out your children where you dropped them off. Volunteers will be there to assist you!

Weekdays, beginning Monday, November 25, Doors A and B will also be locked (except Wednesday evening). This includes the times the preschool is in session. The interior security doors will also be in place during preschool hours.

On Wednesdays, Doors A and B will open at 3:00 pm, and the security doors will remain open because Celebrate Recovery meets in that part of the Family Wing. 

Whew—I know that's a lot! But it's all for the best, so please—plan on a few extra minutes to accommodate these changes, and have patience.

Another exciting part of the upgrade of our Children’s Department is this: we have now completed the refurbishing of the Memorial Chapel including the installation of two huge projection screens.

This will contribute to a much more exciting and dynamic environment for our kids. You might want to take a peek in there sometime during the week prior to November 23, or take a look on Wednesdays after 3:00 pm.

Thanks for your understanding regarding these changes, my dear Chapel Hill family. 

Pastor Mark

P.S.—Did you write down the names of your neighbors? That was your homework from last weekend! You’ll get your next “assignment” this weekend—as we revisit one of the most famous “neighbor” stories in the New Testament. Oh, and one other thing: if you come to one of our two modern services at 6:30 pm Saturday or 10:45 am Sunday, you will encounter a musical experience unlike any other! Can't wait to see you there!

 

Tags: kids, children, security, safety, for your neighbors, doors a and b, family wing, keeping our kids safe

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