Preaching to Save Lives

August 31, 2011

Domestic violence, which affects millions of people, needs to be addressed on several fronts in coming weeks. People of faith are urged to contact their members of Congress to avoid budget cuts for necessary legislation, and preachers are asked to speak from their pulpit to save lives in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Linda Bales Todd, Women’s Advocate at the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society’s Louise & Hugh Moore Population Project, said the faith community needs to make itself heard on this issue that affects so many. 
'Preaching to Save Lives'
Todd said a way to make a difference in the lives of people living with violence is to preach about it during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. “When pastors or lay persons speak words from the pulpit indicating they are concerned about domestic violence,” she said, “and express a wish to make the church a safe place, victims may be more open to trusting and talking with someone about their experience with violence.”
Todd said the General Board of Church & Society is launching a new campaign called "Preaching to Save Lives!" She implored anyone who can do so to explore scheduling a sermon during the month of October to raise awareness of this problem..
Anyone willing to Preach to Save Lives during October is asked to sign the pledge of commitment on the GBCS Web site. A one-page description of the campaign is available at that link, as is an overview of domestic violence legislation pending before Congress. 
“When you preach your sermon, think about videotaping it so others can benefit from what's been shared,” Todd suggested. “We will post printed sermons on our Web site.”
Todd said GBCS has domestic violence resources that can be helpful in addressing this vital issue.
Call members of Congress
“Call your members of Congress now,” Todd said. “Ask them not to cut funding for the ‘Violence Against Women Act,’ the ‘Family Violence Prevention & Services Act’ and the ‘Victims of Crime Act.’
“Over the next six months, Congress and the powerful new bipartisan ‘Super Committee’ will determine where to cut more than $2.4 trillion in spending cuts."
Members of Congress need to hear from their constituents as persons of faith, Todd emphasized.
Todd pointed out that members of Congress are in their home districts through Sept. 5. She said you can call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, to reach your representative's office or, even better, schedule an in-district meeting with them while they are home.
You can contact Linda Todd via e-mail,, or phone, (703) 282-6254, for more information.
The General Board of Church & Society is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. The board’s primary areas of ministry are Advocacy, Education & Leadership Formation, United Nations & International Affairs, and resourcing these areas for the denomination. It has offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the Church Center at the United Nations in New York City.

United Methodist Women and United Methodist Men have partnered to launch a domestic violence initiative to raise awareness and provide training in United Methodist congregations. You can learn more about their initiative at domestic violence