October 22, 2017: Me, too!

Posted on : Oct 19th, 2017 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

The church must be a safe place for victims of sexual and gender-based violence to share their stories and seek support. It is our responsibility to help end domestic violence. Even if we do not know their faces, victims and batterers alike sit in our pews and worship within our walls. Whether we want to be or not, the Church is at the front lines of this issue.

Learn more about how you can be a support and an advocate for the people in your congregation and community.

Women are 5X more likely to be killed if their abuser has access to a gun. Act now to close loopholes that allow stalkers and abusers to access firearms.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please seek help immediately. You can call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Hotlines for further support:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

National Dating Abuse Helpline: Call 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522.

GLBT National Help Center: 1-888-843-4564 and 1-800-246-PRIDE (national youth talkline)

LA resource for same gender domestic violence help:  The LA Gay and Lesbian  Center’s mental health services: Same gender domestic violence

I look forward to being with you on Sunday!

Ann Hayman

 

Welcome, Rev. Ann Hayman!

This Sunday we welcome back to WeHo UCC the Rev. Ann Hayman.  For almost 30 years Ann was the Executive Director of the Mary Magdalene Project, a ministry founded by our Church in 1980 to help prostituted women find healing and wholeness in their lives.

In the 1970’s and 80’s our corner of the world at Sunset Blvd & Martel Ave. was one of the hottest prostitution zones in Hollywood.  Our pastor at the time, The Rev. Ross Greek, and members of our church became friends with many of the women.  We soon learned that prostitution was not about sex but rather abuse and economics.  The women who were prostitutes were caught in a horrible cycle of violence and poverty.  Most of the women were themselves victims of sexual abuse from early childhood.  Life for these women was very dangerous.  Many were addicted to drugs.  Many were abused by pimps or clients.  Many were arrested and imprisoned time and time again.

So our church started a ministry which offered women safety and shelter.  We soon learned that a lot more was needed than a safe house.  What was needed was a place for these women to heal and reclaim their lives.

Ann will share some of her story and learnings with you as she leads worship this Sunday.  I will be up at Pilgrim Pines Camp and Conference Center with 18 members from our church, on our church fall retreat.  We will be praying for each other.

Blessings,

Dan

 

~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Genesis 16:1-15

The Message

Sarai, Abram’s wife, hadn’t yet produced a child.

She had an Egyptian maid named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram, “God has not seen fit to let me have a child. Sleep with my maid. Maybe I can get a family from her.” Abram agreed to do what Sarai said.

So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took her Egyptian maid Hagar and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife. Abram had been living ten years in Canaan when this took place. He slept with Hagar and she got pregnant. When Hagar learned she was pregnant, she looked down on her mistress.

Sarai told Abram, “It’s all your fault that I’m suffering this abuse. I put my maid in bed with you and the minute she knows she’s pregnant, she treats me like I’m nothing. May God decide which of us is right.”

“You decide,” said Abram. “Your maid is your business.”

Sarai was abusive to Hagar and Hagar ran away.

An angel of God found her beside a spring in the desert; it was the spring on the road to Shur.  The angel said, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, what are you doing here?”

She said, “I’m running away from Sarai my mistress.”

The angel said, “Go back to your mistress. Put up with her abuse…I’m going to give you a big family, children past counting.

From this pregnancy, you’ll get a son: Name him Ishmael;
    for God heard you, God answered you.
He’ll be a wild ass of a man,
    a real fighter, fighting and being fought,
Always stirring up trouble,
    always at odds with his family.”

She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, “You’re the God who sees me!

“Yes! God saw me; and then I saw God!”

Hagar gave Abram a son. Abram named him Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar gave him his son, Ishmael.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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