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Published on August 20th, 2013 | by ABCUSA


Addressing Domestic Violence: A Mission Experience for Women

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/20/13)—Domestic violence crosses all socio-economic and racial barriers. Intimate partner violence, or domestic violence, is a crucial topic affecting women and families in our communities and in our congregations. Thirty percent of women globally experience intimate partner violence. Nearly 75 percent of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. American Baptist Women’s Ministries is addressing the topic of domestic violence through its third virtual mission encounter for women in 2013, “Garlands instead of Ashes: Domestic Violence,” on September 23-27, 2013.

The virtual mission encounter will include emailed daily activities to help participants delve more deeply into the topic and educate themselves, find inspiration, and generate new ideas for involvement for themselves or their faith communities. It will also include an opportunity to engage with other participants through a private blog set up specifically for this event.

A highlight of each virtual mission encounter is the evening conference call. Every evening of the virtual mission encounter, participants are able to hear from and have conversation with someone with experience and direct engagement in the topic of the day. Scheduled guests for “Garlands instead of Ashes” include Debra Fields, Community Education and Prevention Supervisor at the Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Dr. Nancy Murphy, DMin, LMHC, founder and director of the Northwest Family Life Learning and Counseling Center in Seattle, Washington; Rev. Susan Chorley, director of Renewal House, a domestic violence shelter in the Boston area, and Rev. Dr. Adalia Gutierrez Lee, commissioned American Baptist missionary in Baja, Tijuana, serving victims of domestic violence.

“Persons that have participated in our previous virtual mission encounters have raved about these unique opportunities for participatory learning around issues that matter,” said Virginia Holmstrom, executive director of American Baptist Women’s Ministries. She said the positive feedback  prompted AB Women’s Ministries to offer “Garlands instead of Ashes: Domestic Violence” on September 23-27, 2013. On November 4-8, 2013, AB Women’s Ministries will host “For I Was in Prison and You Visited Me: Prison and Aftercare Ministries’. Two more topics will be addressed in virtual mission encounters planned for 2014.

Registration for the “Garlands instead of Ashes: Domestic Violence” five-day virtual mission encounter is $30 per person; deadline for registration is September 19, 2013. More information and online registration is available at www.abwministries.org, click on “Events.”

American Baptist Women’s Ministries is a Christ-centered ministry with a commitment to encourage and empower women and girls to serve God. Additional American Baptist Women’s Ministries resources are available at www.abwministries.org.

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.

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