From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Societal Violence Initiative Team Gets
04 May 1996 19:49:43
95430 Societal Violence Initiative Team Gets
under Way in Louisville
by Julian Shipp
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Charged with tackling the issue of violence in society,
and particularly violence against women, the newly organized Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.) Societal Violence Initiative Team gathered here Nov. 2-5
for its first meeting.
Appointed in July by the General Assembly Council (GAC), the
seven-member team searched for ways to help Presbyterians work toward
contributing to a society that is increasingly violence free. The work of
the team was envisioned for a two-year period with the first year focusing
on violence against women, the next year to include broader issues of
The Rev. James Poling, a team member and professor of pastoral
theology and counseling at Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester,
N.Y., said "congregations can help educate their members to support women
who face daily danger of physical, sexual and psychological violence."
As part of its agenda, the team visited the Center for Women and
Families in Louisville, Ky., one of the largest domestic violence shelters
for women in the United States. There they spoke to domestic violence
survivors and learned about programs that respond to the needs of battered
and abused females from 5« months to 93 years.
"Women of all ages are victims of violence both in the church and
society," said Kristine Thompson, team co-chair and executive director of
Calvary Women's Shelter in Washington, D.C. "I am particularly encouraged
that our team will be addressing violence against young women and
Thompson said the team's goal is "to engage congregations on ways to
prevent violence against women through education, awareness-raising, and
empowerment of women and men for action." She said the team also will
engage and encourage middle governing bodies, PC(USA) networks, and
ecumenical partners as part of its work.
"Violence against women, which comes in many forms, has been ignored
by the church and society as a whole," said team member the Rev. Thelma
Burgonio-Watson of the Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic
Violence in Seattle.
"It is exciting to have our church raise up these issues of violence
against women," said team co-chair Regina Thomas, an attorney and advocate
for battered women in Palo Alto, Calif.
Other team members include Maria L.Yee of Stockton, Calif.; GAC member
Virginia (Jinny) K. Miller of Mishawaka, Ind.; Ernest S. Edwards, Jr.,
associate executive presbyter of Louisville Presbytery in Louisville, Ky.;
and the Rev. Susan H. Craig, associate director for women's ministries in
the National Ministries Division and staff coordinator for the antiviolence
initiative. Elected liaisons and staff representatives from the
Congregational, National, and Worldwide Ministries Divisions also support
the team's work.
In upcoming months, the team will be seeking to learn of
congregations, presbyteries and synods that have already been involved in
educational programs designed to raise awareness about and prevent violence
Information about such programs should be sent to the Rev. David
Zuverink, associate for health ministries U.S.A. in the National Ministries
Division and one of the national staff members working with the team, at
100 Witherspoon St., Louisville, Ky. 40202-1396.
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
Browse month . . .
Browse month (sort by Source) . . .
Advanced Search & Browse . . .