E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 20, 2019

Movie Group, Fall Follies, Children’s Bible School and more in the E-Newsletter for October 20, 2019 – Available in full online here.

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP

Dear *|FNAME|*,

Our new accessible and secure door system has been installed!

Earlier this year, the Vestry considered a proposal to install an accessible push button on the main entrance and an electronic locking system on all entrances.

The push button would mean those who attend our services in wheelchairs or walkers no longer need to try to hold a door open and make it into the building. The electronic locking system would mean all doors would unlock and lock on a schedule set by the Parish Office and that members could have a key-card to access the building outside of normal hours.

During the first part of the discussion, though I believed in the importance of the accessible entrance, I was not as sure about the door locking system. Don't get me wrong—I have seen how it is pretty common for doors to be accidentally left unlocked at our entrances and I know that poses a security concern… but I wondered if an electronic locking system with key card access was a bit more than we needed.

However, the Vestry heard how Altar Guild members sometimes felt anxious when they were working in the building alone, not knowing whether the doors had been properly locked the night before. We heard from our part time staff who often are in the building alone at night, and we wanted to address any possible security concern of anyone being alone in the building and not sure the building is secure.

And, the truth of the matter is that our building keys have been distributed to many people over the years and very rarely are they returned when someone leaves or an organization stops using our space. With a keycard system, not only could we deactivate a keycard if that person should no longer have access, but we also would have a hard record of who has accessed our building outside of normal hours. 

So, I was glad the Vestry affirmed the proposal and sent it to the Whittemore Foundation for possible grant support. I was further thrilled to find out several months later that the Whittemore Foundation had granted us over $9,000 toward this project, a total of 80% of the total project cost. 

As of this week, the installation of both the push-button accessible hardware and the new door security system has been completed. Our doors are now unlocking and locking on a schedule Cindi sets each week on Monday. 

This does mean a few things for you, SJE parishioners:

  • Though you no longer need to worry about locking the exterior doors if you are the last group in the building, please do still check the calendar at the exit to see if you are responsible for ensuring all lights have been shut off.
  • If you ever have need of accessing the building outside of normal hours, please contact Cindi so she can get you a keycard. If you would prefer a keychain fob, you can let her know that as well. We will have those available shortly. 
  • If you have a building key, please know that it will no longer open the exterior doors (those have all now been keyed to only open with a master key—as a failsafe backup for if something malfunctions with the electronic system). However, the building keys will still continue to work on interior door locks that you have previously used them for—so please keep your building key if you ever have need of accessing a locked room inside the church.
Our parish is a busy parish, with guests and outside organizations coming into our space throughout the week for meals, English as a second language, assistance with various needs, and just opportunities for solace and prayer. With this new system, our building will not only be more accessible to those with mobility struggles—but it will be more secure for every person who uses our space. 

Thank you to the Whittemore Foundation, for your support of this project. And thank you, members of SJE, for your commitment that our church be welcoming and safe to all people. 

Through Grace,

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, October 20, 2019 online here

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