Dear First Church Folk,
I would like to thank those who attended and participated in the forum on Family Violence held in the Burns Hall last Sunday. I’m particularly grateful to Professor David Tombs and Dr Mercy Maliko from the Centre of Theology and Public Issues, Otago University for facilitating the forum. It generated much discussion and highlighted some huge challenges we face in the wider community as well as in the church.
Family violence is an issue for all people. Statistics presented on family violence clearly showed that family violence occurred across all kinds of boundaries including ethnic and socio-economic lines. In this respect, nearly everyone in the forum could identify in some way or another with this issue.
In the course of conversations, the role of the church was also addressed. One obvious point aired was that the church seemed largely silent or very reluctant to engage with the issue of family violence. Some felt unsupported in their church while others perceived that churches, or rather ministers, were not professionally capable of helping them. Abuse incidents in some denominations that have made headline news convey Christian communities as being unsafe places where the vulnerable are victimized by those in positions of authority. Read the rest of this entry »
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