I spent time last weekend at Kenai UMC (Check out their new sign.) and Soldotna UMC. While the Whetsell's were leading a Walk to Emmaus I got to spend the night in our old house and preach and teach at SUMC. The topic was Healthy Churches. At one point I asked, "If I were to ask several people in this town what they know about Soldotna United Methodist Church, what would they say?"
In your community what is the reputation of your church? Wouldn't it be amazing if people in your town began to say something like, "Isn't that the church that really made a difference in reducing domestic violence in Alaska?"
On March 31 at noon I encourage all United Methodists to join Governor Parnell's rally cry to put an end to domestic violence and sexual assault in our state. In the ongoing effort to raise awareness of DVSA, the Office of the Governor and non-profit groups across the state are sponsoring simultaneous “Choose Respect” events in more than 50 communities across Alaska. There will be free parking at First UMC, Anchorage where the march will begin in the park strip. The march in Juneau will begin at noon at the capitol building and end at Marine Park. You can learn more about Choose Respect events across Alaska at: www.chooserespect.alaska.gov
Pastors, please consider preaching a sermon about this vital issue. Laity, think about getting involved in your community's efforts to reduce violence in the home. To be sure this is God's desire that all people live in peace.