October 30, 2016 – “Being the Church: Creating Safe Space”

Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie Matthew 5:13-14, 21-22, 43-47; 7:1-5 John 14:25-27 “Being the Church: Creating Safe Space” Listen to this Sermon On Friday evening, I attended one of the Interchurch Health Ministries education sessions. That’s the program that provides training and support for parish nurses, as well as for congregation members and clergy who are working with parish nurses, like ours, Laura Van Loon. The particular session was on the topic of family violence – helping us to identify its various forms, realize its prevalence, and become aware of how we can assist those who are victims of physical, emotional, psychological, or economic abuse perpetrated by their own family members. As the session neared its conclusion, we were invited to consider a question: “What is the faith community’s responsibility with regard to family violence?” What is our responsibility as parish nurses, clergy, and congregations when women, children, or men are suffering violence at the hands of their own loved ones? I immediately thought of the responsibility to report suspected abuse. There is both a moral and a legal imperative to speak up when we think that a vulnerable person like a child, youth, or elder is being abused. But then others in the class pointed out that our responsibility is deeper and more significant than just “blowing a whistle” at something happening outside of the church community. They said that, as churches, we are called to be safe places for those who are vulnerable… places where violence, in … Read more »