26 Killed and 20 Wounded at Texas Church in Active Shooter Tragedy
Monday, November 6th, 2017
Yesterday morning, at least 26 people were killed and 20 wounded at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The shooter, Devin Kelly, was a 26-year-old former military man who had been discharged for bad conduct. As of this writing, there is no known motive.
At CongregationU, we mourn this tragedy as we do the other senseless mass shootings that have happened across the country.
The gunman in this situation started firing from outside the church and continued shooting inside. Could anything have prevented the casualties? Probably not. But part of our mission is to help churches and faith-based organizations be prepared for all types of situations–including tragedies.
Call us today to find out how we can help you set up online active shooter training. We are here to serve you at 866.862.5855!
Clergy and Ministerial Ethics Training Now Available Online
Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017
Clergy members are expected to not only make all of the right decisions, but also have all of the answers. Unethical behavior from a ministerial leader can have a ripple effect that seriously erodes the fabric of an entire congregation.
Have your clergy and ministerial leaders reviewed their ethics training lately?
CongregationU’s latest course offering tackles the tough topic of clergy and ministerial ethics. This 2-hour comprehensive course addresses:
-The top ethical issues faced by clergy and pastors today, including technology, sexual misconduct and abuse, addiction, narcissistic behavior, plagiarism, and more
-The need for written ethical codes of conduct in churches and congregations
-Scenarios and common situations that provoke thinking about personal behavior
-A roadmap and guidance to ethical behavior
-The importance of ethics training and review on a regular basis
Many pastors and ministerial leaders do not have the opportunity or responsibility to review ethics once they leave seminary or other clergy education.
CongregationU wants this course to fill in those gaps, providing users with a greater understanding of the ethical challenges of today and how they can navigate those tough situations. Call us at 866.862.5855 or click here to see a demo.
CongregationU Has Your Risk Management Needs Covered
Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
In a church environment, risk management is a team effort. While worship, children’s education, and other activities are happening, there are many people working behind the scenes to ensure everyone is safe, secure, and well-cared-for. How do you make sure all of your team members are on the same page?
With CongregationU, you can train all of your clergy, staff, volunteers, and church members on risk management and other topics they need to know about. Currently, there are nearly 40 courses available—with more coming soon!
Each user can train at his or her own pace online. Churches can buy courses individually, or try a cost-effective bundle to get all courses in the training bundle for one low price.
The well-being of everyone in your church is a team effort. Make sure you have the right training and risk management strategies in place!
A Wise Investment in your Church’s Future
Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
Learning is not the same today as it was several years ago. Access to technology has changed the landscape of learning, enabling churches to maximize limited resources. With CongregationU, churches and faith-based organizations can train anytime, anywhere!
Online training works because it can reach a greater audience in a shorter period of time. No more meetings to schedule and reschedule, leaving some people untrained because they can’t attend on the scheduled dates. No need for childcare or shuffling building use while your congregants are being trained. When you offer online training, you equip your clergy, staff, volunteers, and members with the tools to make a difference.
CongregationU can help your church—large or small—train on topics that your clergy, staff, and volunteers need to know about: church security, abuse prevention, church management, human resources, health and wellness, and more.
Many churches today work with limited resources, tight budgets, and time constraints. With a training bundle, you can meet your training needs while keeping your eye on the bottom line.
Ensuring a Safe and Healthy Church Nursery
Tuesday, March 28th, 2017
When families leave their children in your church nursery, they trust that you will not only provide the best possible care, but also that their little ones will be returned to them safe and unharmed.
These babies and toddlers might be laughing or they might be crying, but you can take steps to make sure they remain safe and healthy while under your care. For example, did you know that it is illegal to sell or donate cribs that do not comply with federal crib statutes?
CongregationU has released two new courses that focus specifically on the church nursery. “Church Nursery Safety: Furnishings, Products, and the Environment” and “Church Nursery Safety: Policies and Procedures” can inform your staff and volunteers of the essentials when it comes to this special area of your church ministry. For example:
- The importance of creating a safe and secure church nursery environment
- Safety standards and certifications for infant and toddler products
- Safe and secure entry to the church childcare setting
- Ensuring that toys, furnishings, and the environment are safe and hygienic
- Procedures for proper handwashing, diapering, feeding, sleep, and playtime
- Establishing processes for illness, accidents, and emergencies
When you buy a cost-effective online training bundle from CongregationU, you’ll get both of these courses—plus over 30 more! Explore the rest of our courses here.
Call us at 866.862.5855 and we’ll provide you a free demo of any of our courses.
An Active Shooter in Church
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
Active shooter situations don’t happen every day. But they do happen—even in places of worship. It’s important that churches are prepared to handle any security emergency.
CongregationU has just added a new course, “Active Shooter Situations in Church Settings,” available for everyone in your congregation. This 45-minute online course:
- Is based on the Run-Hide-Fight protocol of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies
- Is written for anyone in your church who wants to have a better awareness of security
- Outlines specific plans churches can establish to act responsibly and keep everyone as safe as possible
- Was reviewed by a law-enforcement officer and trainer with 15+ years of experience in handling sniper and active shooter scenarios
To learn more about this course or any of our other courses, check out the course list.
Are you up-to-date on harassment compliance?
Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
Harassment is not just illegal; it can create an uncomfortable, threatening, and unpleasant environment for all people within a workplace. Sexual harassment happens in all environments, including the church workplace. For a church, a public sexual harassment lawsuit can have far-reaching consequences: decreased morale, attendance, productivity, and work quality, and damaged reputations.
It’s a new year, and exactly the right time to think about doing everything possible to create a harassment-free church workplace.
CongregationU has three online, up-to-date sexual harassment courses for clergy, staff, and volunteers:
- Sexual Harassment Training – Harassment Awareness for Employees: This 25-minute course will help employees and volunteers have an awareness of sexual harassment and take action to stop it when they see it happening in the workplace.
- Sexual Harassment Training for Supervisors and Managers: This one-hour course will empower church clergy, supervisors, and managers to create a harassment-free work environment.
- Sexual Harassment Training for Supervisors in California (AB 1825/AB 2053): This two-hour course is designed to meet the requirements of both AB 1825 and AB 2053, which took effect in January 2015 and requires training on abusive conduct.
With CongregationU’s online training, you can track who has been trained for your church’s protection! Cover your bases now so you can get down to other important church business. Set up your account online or call CongregationU today at 866.862.5855 to begin training the clergy, staff, and volunteers in your church on sexual harassment and other important risk-management topics. Click here to see our course list.
Running a Capital Campaign?
Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
No matter what type of capital campaign your church wants to develop, it always starts with a vision. What is your church’s goal? A new facility, major building repair, or significant equipment purchase?
The success of a capital campaign is directly related to the commitment, expertise, and effectiveness of the committee leaders—as well as the willingness of prospective donors. Running a capital campaign can be a complex endeavor, but CongregationU is here to help.
Our new 60-minute online course, “Capital Campaigns for Churches,” breaks down the process for any church—small or large. In this course, you’ll learn about:
- Types of capital campaigns, including their phases and components
- Building a capital campaign team
- Establishing financial goals, budgets, and timelines
- Crafting effective vision and case statements
- Acquiring donors—large and small
- Getting your congregation on board with your campaign efforts
A capital campaign can energize a church, providing members with a shared goal and a sense of purpose. This course can help you realize that goal. Check out CongregationU’s course list to discover additional courses for your clergy, staff, volunteers, and laity.
Learn at your own pace, online 24/7. Call us at 866.862.5855 for a free demo of this course today!
Check out our updated course list
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
Have you looked at our course list lately? We are adding courses right and left to expand the possibilities for congregations across the country. All of these courses are included with the course bundle, which is an extremely cost-effective way to train all of your congregants.
Most recently, we’ve added the following courses:
- Capital Campaigns for Churches: planning a successful campaign, and learning about the benefits and risks
- Diversity in the Workplace: making your church workplace diverse, and learning about the benefits and challenges of diversity
- Foodborne Illness: Awareness & Prevention: avoiding sickness when preparing and participating in church dinners or other occasions
- Back Injuries and Ergonomics: keeping your back safe as you work and volunteer at church, as well as how ergonomics can help
Think about people in your congregation who might need these courses: staff, clergy, volunteers, laity. The learning options are endless!
What courses would you like to see? Let us know!
Putting out the Flames
Friday, August 5th, 2016
There have been several church fires in the news lately. Some of them involve empty churches, and in those cases no one was hurt. But any church fire has the potential to cost lives and damage property.
Are you prepared for a church fire? Do you have measures in place to notify people, emergency personnel, and the community? Better yet, do your staff and volunteers know how to prevent fires from starting in the first place?
CongregationU has a course all about fire safety, specifically written for the church environment–big or small. To look at a demo, contact our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866.862.5855.
Have VBS in Your Church? 9 Ways to Keep Kids Safe
Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Summer is a really fun time of year in churches, especially when they are buzzing with the excitement of Vacation Bible School. Churches come alive when children and youth are engaged in activities designed especially for them.
But with this energy and excitement also comes some added preparation. With so many children and youth running around your church facility—many of whom may be visitors or guests of members—as well as an increased number of volunteers, church staff and VBS leaders need to pay especially close attention to security and safety.
Here are some things to think about to help keep the children and youth safe during the exciting week of VBS:
- 1. Everyone should have ID, including participants. It can be nametags, t-shirts, lanyards, or buttons, but everyone should be identifiable with their role in the week’s activities.
- 2. All volunteers should be screened and trained before serving in activities involving children and youth. This includes abuse prevention training in accordance with your church’s policies.
3. Two-deep leadership: Two adults with a child or youth at all times. This applies during regular Sunday activities and in all activities throughout the summer. If you do not have this policy at your church, start it now.
4. Get permission to use photography of children. Some churches make special VBS CDs or post pictures on the church website or during church services on the big screen. Make sure you have permission to use photography, and do not identify children on social media (even with permission).
5. Register every child or youth. No young person should be in the building participating in activities without having filled out a registration form with emergency contact information. This should include information about allergies and/or other medical needs.
6. Make sure all volunteers are prepared. Let them know of fire safety policies and extreme weather policies in case of emergency.
7. Check your first aid kits to make sure they are fully stocked and accessible to all volunteers and classrooms.
8. Communicate with parents about your security and safety policies. Send information home or have information on your website about the measures you’ve taken to keep children and youth secure. Your parents will appreciate this peace of mind!
9. Signage should be abundant. Make sure everyone knows where to go and how to get there. For the first couple of days (or the whole week if you can spare some volunteers), keep people posted at doors to direct anyone who is unsure. The fewer people wandering the halls, the more secure you will feel.
Congratulations to our winners!
Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
When CongregationU and Safe Gatherings attended the 2016 UMC General Conference, we held a drawing for a free Level 1 bundle to try out our courses. We gave away five bundles, each containing 10 licenses to each of our courses (a $250 value!).
Here are the lucky winners:
Brittany Watson (Ark.)
Rev. Joe MacDonald (N.M.)
Rev. Kathy Cooper-Ledesma (Calif.)
Pastor Mark Flynn (W.V.)
Lindsay Drake (Iowa)
We appreciate everyone who came to see us and entered the drawing! If we missed you, we’d love to chat with you.
Want to know what our courses are all about? Call us at 866.862.5855 for a demo code!