St. Luke’s UCC, North Wales: August 31, 2014

Something is happening at St. Luke’s UCC in North Wales nearly every day of the week. The church is home to the Girl Scouts, three other religious communities, and various community outreach activities. Most prominent among the community outreach is Laurel House of Montgomery County. Visit www.UCCNorthWales.org to learn more about our congregation. As a prayer partner, we want to highlight Laurel House.

Laurel House of Montgomery County

226Domestic violence plagues virtually all communities. Whether from male to female, female to male, or adults to children, domestic violence de-humanizes both the victims and the perpetrators.

Laurel House is dedicated to ending domestic violence in each life, home, and community. St. Luke’s UCC in North Wales provides one of the locations where Laurel House does its work.

Laurel House is a comprehensive domestic violence agency serving individuals, families and communities throughout Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Its mission is to:

• Advocate for and empower those impacted by domestic violence, and
• Advance social change through preventative education and community training and collaboration.

Laurel House provides a coordinated response to domestic abuse through crisis intervention, and by providing safe haven and supportive programs. In addition to its 24-hour hotline and shelter, Laurel House offers transitional housing, medical advocacy, legal advocacy, community counseling and support groups, children’s programs, law enforcement collaboration, and community education.

Laurel House operates two upscale resale thrift shops in King of Prussia and Lansdale. These shops help support the Laurel House shelter and counseling programs, while also raising awareness about domestic abuse.
Laurel House services are available to male and female victims of abuse and their children. If you are in an unsafe situation because of domestic violence or if you would like to speak with a counselor about available services, please call our Hotline at 1-800-642-3150.

Community of Faith Outreach Program

Communities of faith can be a vital resource for victims of domestic violence when they serve as safe havens, remind victims that faith does not condone abuse and provide support that encourages hope and healing. The goal of the Laurel House DOVE program is to assist faith communities to be seen as resources for peace and healing for families dealing with abuse. To accomplish this goal, Laurel House shares information developed by religious leaders who are also skilled in domestic violence advocacy, assists victims to talk to people from their own faith tradition about abuse and welcomes local faith communities to partner with Laurel House through a wide range of community awareness building and service activities.

Laurel House offers two resources especially for churches:

• Information for Religious Leaders about Domestic Violence
• Domestic Violence Awareness Posters for Faith Communities

Additional materials such as speakers and training sessions in pastoral care issues for domestic abuse are available through Laurel House. Some of the topics covered include theological issues that surround abuse, safety planning, issues to be aware of in couples and pre-marital counseling, providing support for abusers and how to help. In all instances, Laurel House emphasizes that safety for all involved must be a first priority.

In addition to working together to provide direct support for families, dozens of faith communities partner with Laurel House each year through service, community awareness and special events. Examples of some of the ways they are involved include: forming 5K DASH teams, collecting wish list items, baking casseroles, providing days of caring, making monetary donations, posting awareness signage in restrooms, forming survivor support groups, hosting teen dating violence awareness sessions and more.

If you are interested in receiving more information for faith communities about domestic violence, becoming more involved in Laurel House events or service, or having a DOVE representative visit your community of faith, please contact Tina Reynolds.

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