Photo right: Wendy Mahoney with the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence was seen at the head of the room. She spoke to nearly 50 Mississippi United Methodist clergy about domestic violence.
The first of three opportunities for Mississippi United Methodist clergy to receive training on addressing domestic violence was Tuesday, Sept. 27. The clergy met at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church in Oxford, Mississippi.
Under the leadership of Bishop James Swanson Sr., the Domestic Violence Task Force discerned the need for educating clergy to foster healthy, loving and violence-free relations in their congregations.
Representatives from the Mississippi Conference United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, laity, and clergy are members of the task force.
The conference has joined the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence and will rely heavily on the coalition's teaching skills and resources to prepare clergy.
The Rev. Ricky Bishop attended Tuesday's presentation.
"What an eye-opener it was to learn that one in four women and one in seven men suffer from physical, emotional, or psychological abuse. No one deserves to be abused. Each person is a child of God whom He has fearfully and wonderfully made," said Bishop.
The Rev. Evelyn Fitzpatrick encourages all Mississippi pastors to sign-up for the next exercise.
"We must be aware that domestic violence is present, and it effects and attacks whoever allows it," she explained.
The next Mississippi Conference clergy training on domestic violence is Oct. 20 in Biloxi at Moore Community Center. The last date is Oct. 25 at Crossgates United Methodist Church in Brandon. The cost is $25. A ½ CEU is available. There are deadlines for registration. Click here for details and to register.
Bishop Swanson's personal heartbreak led to the formation of the task force. He was as a teenager when he who lost his mother to domestic violence.