‘When Home Hurts’

Conference to explore Domestic Violence and Families

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.

Jody Anderson

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:

  • A marriage and family therapist who directs our conference’s Young People’s Ministries program.
  • A longtime county DV services director and former shelter director.
  • Several clinical counselors who work with boys and men.
  • A Licensed Local Pastor involved in helping domestic violence victims.
  • A researcher and author who explores the church’s role in addressing domestic violence.

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:

  • The Rev. David Piltz, a Licensed Local Pastor, marriage and family counselor, director of the UMC-affiliated Open Door Campus Ministry at Drexel University, and Coordinator of Eastern PA Conference Youth & Young Adults Ministries.
  • The Rev. Terry Clooney a Licensed Local Pastor who serves two congregations and has helped DV victims.
  • Tony Lapp, a trainer and therapist who directs Courdea, formerly Menergy, a 36-year-old intervention program for people who have abused an intimate partner. Tony is a former coordinator of the Domestic Abuse and Battering Intervention Network of Pennsylvania.
  • Sandra Lewis, a DV Committee member, who retired after 20 years at the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, where she directed counseling. She is founder of Bridge of Hope and the Gateway Homeless Shelter for Women and Children in Coatesville PA.
  • David Rothwell, a clinician with long experience in working with Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) offenders. He supervises intervention programs at Creative Health Services, and serves on the Domestic Violence Legal Network of Montgomery County, PA. He has taught on “How faith communities can support families living with domestic violence.”
  • Joe Henson, coordinator of the Coaching Boys into Men Program for the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, where he teaches and inspires young men to embrace healthy masculinity.
  • Shannon Green, a Social Policy Researcher in Family Violence and author of The Church’s Response to Domestic Violence

Download the flyer and register online now!