By John W. Coleman
The Eastern PA Conference’s Domestic Violence Committee will focus on children and families when it presents its third annual Domestic Violence Seminar October 9-10. The two-part, virtual event will be a video-conference on Zoom. Its times are on Friday evening, from 7 PM to 9 PM, and on Saturday morning, from 9 AM to 12 PM. (Download the flyer and register online now!)
The theme is When Home Hurts: Domestic Violence and Families—The Church Responds.
“Again, we will learn more about this destructive social crisis that hurts individuals, families and communities,” said the committee in announcing the event. “And we will explore how churches can respond.” Register online to receive access information. The cost is $10, and churches are encouraged to participate in ministry teams.
The committee examined how domestic violence (DV) impacts women and men in 2018 and 2019, respectively. With a goal of “Protecting Human Life, Promoting Healthy Families,” this year’s seminar will focus on families, including DV’s impact on children and youth. Keynote speaker Jody Anderson and expert panelists, DV survivors and attendees will all share their wisdom and witness—that is, their knowledge, diverse views and often-painful but enlightening experiences.
Anderson, a member of West Lawn UMC in Reading, co-chairs the conference’s Domestic Violence Committee. She will highlight insights from her new book, Band of Angels, which comes out in October, during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A longtime professional and church volunteer in social work and social justice, the certified child trauma specialist has counseled children and youth. But she also directed domestic violence agencies and launched a residential program to help homeless female veterans heal from sexual assault in the military.
Attendees will also hear several DV survivors share their compelling stories of domestic abuse, healing and recovery, and what they learned from those experiences. And a panel of practitioners will offer their wisdom in answering the question “How Can the Church Respond Effectively?” They will include:
Don’t miss this in-depth, eye-opening, mind-expanding, heart-touching exposition of a topic of grave concern to churches, individuals and communities who care about protecting human life and promoting healthy families. Please register online today and encourage fellow church members to join you in attending this important event.
Speakers and Workshop Leaders:
The Rev. Beth Toler, an American Baptist minister who teaches Clinical Counseling at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pa., will moderate DV survivors’ accounts in “The Voices of Survivors.” She will also moderate the panel discussion titled “How Can the Church Respond Effectively.” Panelists and workshop leaders include: