These last weeks have been tough ones for people who have suffered sexual abuse, sexual violence, and other experiences that felt less-than-consensual. I don’t know why those kinds of crimes committed against our bodies carry so much weight, but I know they do. For those of you who have been triggered by the national conversation and perhaps the dismissal of the story, or who have just been reminded of painful memories as this has played out in all the media, peace be with you. Know that you are a beloved child of God, and no one can take that away from you.
Next Monday evening, consider attending a service of prayer honoring survivors of sexual violence Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities, under Meta Herrick-Carlson’s leadership, along with Pastors Sara Lynn Wilhelm Garbers (Minister of Connections at Colonial Church) and Sarah Brouwer (Associate pastor at Westminster Pres). I will be there, and there is space for you and your grief, pain, anger, confusion and whatever other emotions this has stirred up for you.
This event is one year since #metoo went viral, and October 15 was named “Break the Silence Day” in Minnesota by Gov. Mark Dayton. It will be an evening prayer service for survivors of sexual violence and all who hurt and grieve with them. God hears your cries and calls the church to show up in the weariness and suffering with comfort that whispers, “You are not alone.”
We know many who need this service care for children in the evening. Kids are most welcome! We’ll have a time in the service especially for them, nursery care and an area where they can wiggle and color freely.
If you feel called, proceeds from the offering will benefit the Survivors Memorial in Minneapolis. Learn more at www.survivorsmemorial.org
“The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.” – St. Theresa of Avila
Need to talk?
You can contact me, or another pastor, or RAINN The Nation’s Largest Anti-Sexual Violence Organization 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE).
Be gentle with yourselves and others-
Pastor Holly Johnson