I was saddened and frightened by the violent act that occurred at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church yesterday. I am grateful that no one was injured and that the perpetrator was apprehended. Hopefully he will receive the assistance that he desperately needs. It is clear to me that our parish is moving in the right direction by addressing with the Portland Police Department the issues of church violence, and understanding individuals within the homeless population who struggle with mental illness and drug addiction.
Please know we are exercising due diligence practices that help cultivate a safe environment for everyone who uses our building. However, we cannot do that alone. We ask that you help us maintain a safe environment by; securing doors, returning keys that were issued to you and you no longer participate in the ministry or need access to the building; and always be mindful of your surroundings when you enter and leave the building.
God did not give us a spirit of fear, and we are required to use our common sense and wisdom.
Rev. Dr. Deborah R. Brown