Welcoming, Watching & Willing to Call

The Three Ws: Welcoming, Watchful and Willing to Call 911 by Thor Mickelson

At Mayflower we strive to offer hospitality for all. But we can’t do this well without also striving to be aware of the security issues related to being a public space we experience as an urban church. Mayflower has made significant strides in developing practices to improve the security its space. This fall in an ongoing effort we intend to continue to develop practices to improve the security of Mayflower. We will renew our commitment to welcome guests as well as build upon our shared responsibility for communal safety.

Mayflower does this by practicing the 3 W’s: Welcoming, Watchful and Willing to Call 911. What do we mean by this?

Welcome. We are first of all a congregation that seeks to live out the Biblical mandate to welcome all. Studies suggest that for a newcomer to cross the threshold of a church for the first time takes considerable courage. When they arrive we want to offer welcome and hospitality.

We all share in the goal of keeping our community safe. Sometimes we think of our church as a “home,” when in fact that might not be the best description. The word “home” immediately suggests insiders and outsiders, those who belong and those who do not yet belong. Some have suggested a better description is to think of the church as a shared space or a shared commons. It is a place that is open for all but also a place where we all share responsibility for security.

So while we always begin with welcome we continue our hospitality by being watchful and always doing what we can do to keep the space safe.

Watchful. What do we mean by being watchful? Being watchful means that we must all be observant, to be aware of our surroundings and to pay attention to our gut instincts. If you notice someone who is new to you don’t hesitate to introduce yourself, and ask, “How can I help you?” If someone seems to be agitated or if you are concerned don’t hesitate to get a second opinion, seek out an usher.

Willing. If you see some event or person that is of concern to you, if you feel there is a threat, be willing to call 911. Don’t sound hesitant to the dispatcher and don’t worry that it might be a false alarm. Call and say clearly that there are children present and it is an emergency. You will be supported for making this call and for taking actionable steps to act on behalf of the community to improve security.

In addition to the 3 W’s, there will be other added practices to assure safety for all. Keep an eye out for upcoming e-blasts and information in Ship to Shore. Thank you for being part of what makes Mayflower a community that shares hospitality while practicing measures for our greater safety.