by Erin Jones | CBS11

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Lakewood United Methodist Church hosted a self-defense class Tuesday evening.

Being prepared to protect themselves at any given time and any place is a top priority to Paige Kormeluk and her daughter Madison.

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“Just so that you can be prepared because you never know when you’re going to be in an emergency situation,” said Paige.

Church leaders say sadly, history, especially recent history, has shown places of worship are not exempt from tragedy and people need to be prepared.

self-defense class at Lakewood United Methodist Church (CBS11)

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“It’s a thing that we definitely mourn deeply as a religious community across faith traditions and it’s important to create these spaces where we can come together,” said Pastor Patrick Littlefield of Lakewood United Methodist Church.

“People feel that when you come to church you’re safe – its supposed to be a safe environment – and so they tend to not pay attention to the things around them,” said Dallas Police Sgt. Casey Erwin. “We want people paying attention to what’s going on, who is doing what, who is paying attention to the exits instead of the message.”

Sgt. Erwin told Tuesday’s self defense class participants if something doesn’t feel right, report it.

At Lakewood United Methodist, there are people assigned to monitor it during times of worship.

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In the future, church leaders say they may host another workshop on a Saturday so more people can attend.