Why is it important for people of faith to be involved in domestic violence work?
Nov 10, 2009
from the Renewal House blog entry:
A reporter from the Boston Herald asked me that question yesterday afternoon. The reporter is working on an article highlighting the Restorer’s Ministry, a new hotline led by three women from the Grace of All Nations Church in Dorchester. We have been supporting the training needs of the three as they seek to live out their call to serving individuals and families struggling with issues of domestic violence in their community.
....Early on in my work at Renewal House, I attended a training led by Rhea Almeida about her program in New Jersey and her efforts to provide opportunities for restorative justice. I continually think about that model – and those who say “only someone like Rhea can do that work.” The opportunity Rhea offers for families to share the reality of domestic violence and, together, create a path to healing and wholeness is revolutionary. It does not mean that the family is reunited; rather, through the process of separation they all get a chance to tell their stories in a community of both support and accountability. This model is what I hope Restorer’s Ministry and Renewal House both achieve as we seek to be people of faith in a world that, in many ways, is “fallen.” In my mind, that is the importance of faith communities and their contributions to the work of ending domestic violence – we have the opportunity to serve all members of the family as they seek to heal and make better choices in their lives. That, I believe, is the social justice work that people of faith are poised to do together.