Cultivating the Ground of Peace in Places of Worship in our Community

What is Swords to Plowshares?

In these current times churches and other places of worship are faced with the difficult situation of protecting their congregation while attempting to show grace and love to all those who come to join in worship. It is impossible to know if there is someone in the congregation who has ill intentions and may want to make a scene or even harm those in attendance. Therefore, churches and places of worship must be alert and ready for any potential threats that might exist. 

According to a survey conducted in 2020 by Lifeway Research over 80% of protestant pastors have some type of security measure in place. In the same survey, Lifeway found that 45% of churches have armed security and 28% of the churches surveyed use some form of radio communication between security personnel.

Isaiah 2:4 portends that: One day we will all turn our swords into plowshares. Let’s practice to begin that now.

Fortunately, active shooter instances are rare. While it is essential to have a security team that is trained and prepared to respond to a shooting situation, the most probable security issue that will arise will be a situation that involves less aggressive means. Most security teams are not trained in self-defense, restraint, and take-down techniques that might be required to address these types of security issues. 

Swords to Plowshares is a self-defense and incident intervention class designed specifically for teams that provide security to local churches and other places of worship. The class is based on the principles Aikido. The practices and techniques are designed to minimize violent impact and harm, to de-escalate conflict, decrease security team members reactive tendencies and emotional dysregulation, while enhancing focused responsiveness situational awareness. The class is non-denominational and open to any church security team as a supplement to any ongoing security training their place of worship provides.


When: Classes will be on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM.  

Offered by: Braided Way Peace Collective
Dress: Wear comfortable clothes such as sweatpants, running pants, T-shirts, and long-sleeve T-shirts.  Feel free to bring a Gi if you have one available. There is a changing room in the dojo. Please do not wear shorts.
Difficulty: (Moderate) This class will be low impact with little to no falling or rolling. You will be required to turn quickly, squat and sometimes kneel, maintain balance, and get up from the ground unassisted multiple times per class.

Andy has been a practitioner of aikido for over 15 years. He served in the United States Marine Corps as an aircraft rescue firefighter at 29 Palms, CA, and in Iraq, specializing in vehicle, structural, and aircraft fire and rescue/recovery missions. In 2004, after completing his contract with the Marines, he began working as a Department of Defense contract fire officer and military trainer in Iraq until October 2008.

Professionally, Andy is financial advisor with Edward Jones since 2008. Within the community, Andy has served on multiple non-profit boards such as the Kalispell Regional Medical Center (Logan Health) Foundation, CASA for Kids in the Flathead, Northwest Montana Veterans Food Pantry, Easthaven Baptist Church, Montana Christian College, and the Flathead Marines. 

He is blessed with his biggest supporter, his wife Amy, his two children, Asher and Addilyn; and their two Corgis, Dash and Violet.


Donations provide scholarships for Braided Way programs, support the maintenance of the physical space, and costs of trainings.  All administrative and board positions are volunteer.

Please donate directly through PayPal with the link below.


Braided Way Peace Collective
150 C Kelly Road, Kalispell, MT 59901
Mail: P.O. Box 10816 Kalispell, MT 59904

1(406) 471-4812