By Bishop Peggy Johnson
She came to the United Methodist-sponsored DeafBlind Camp*, this young woman with a small child. Her husband dropped her off. She could neither see nor hear. But faithful volunteers interpreted for her, making tactile deaf signs in her hands. And they led her from place to place during the week of camp activities.
I was running the camp; so I did not have much contact with “Audrey.”** The woman who served as her support service provider (SSP) sensed that she was burdened with something; but the nature of it was unclear.
Being deaf and blind comes with huge daily challenges. God bless this volunteer helper! After camp ended she went to visit “Audrey” at her home, and they formed a bond of friendship.
It was through that bond that the terrible truth about Audrey’s husband came to light. He would beat her and kick her and put things in her way, so she would fall and hurt herself. This was unbelievable cruelty behind closed doors. Read more…
Bishop Bruce R. Ough
October 01, 2018
On Thursday, Sept. 27, the nation was riveted by the testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Judge Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford gave compelling, courageous, and at points, raw, tender witness to her experience of sexual assault. Judge Brett Kavanaugh gave equally emotional, forceful, and, at times, bellicose defense of his innocence. The hearing played out on the stage of a deeply divided, politically charged Senate Judiciary Committee—equally a consequence and cause of the divisive tribalism that now characterizes and threatens our great democracy.
But, the hearing on Thursday was far more than political theatre. It felt as if the very soul of our country was being laid bare. Thousands, more likely millions (statistical studies indicate that one in every three women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime), of women and girls relived the pain of their own sexual harassment, assault, abuse, or rape. It was a powerful, indelible teaching moment for millions of people and, indeed, a nation too long in denial of our epidemic of sexual assault and abuse. No matter what one’s political position is regarding Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to become a Supreme Court justice, we, as followers of Jesus, can no longer remain silent about the sin of sexual assault and abuse or tolerate “boys will be boys” excuses. Read more…
Violence against women and girls is a sin. It goes against God’s design and plan for us. And yet, one in three women experiences sexual or gender-based violence. Why is that? And what does it say about our theology that so many women and girls in our congregations are survivors of this violence?
Church and Society just published a new curriculum, “Hidden in Plain Sight: A Call to End Domestic Violence.” This study is designed to give adult education classes, church Bible studies, campus ministries and other small groups the tools to reflect on what the Bible and The United Methodist Church have to say about domestic violence.
The study has four hourlong sessions that look at different aspects and intersections of domestic violence.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
I highly encourage you to use this resource sometime in October, but you can use it any time of the year.
Director, Women’s & Children’s Advocacy
Church and Society