Conversations on Violence
- Posted by: kbutler64
- Posted: 12/15/2016
- Tags: Resources and Links
On the afternoon of August 2, 2014, over twenty people gathered for "Conversations on Violence - Where is Our Voice?" at First Baptist Church in New Haven. This was the pilot of an ongoing conversation that the Department of Christian Service and Witness plans to spread across Connecticut. Stay posted for the calendar of future locations and dates and make sure to attend.
Those who gathered divided into two focus groups; the following are highlights of the conversations.
Group Focus: Warning Signs of Violence, Teens & Violence, Self-Violence
- Many thoughts on social, mental, and environmental factors that may trigger violent behaviors were shared. Some were fear, mental illness, bullying, poverty, homelessness, and adolescence. The importance of being aware of some of the signs and identifying ways to diffuse violence before it occurs was stressed.
- There is a need for more activities and involvement of our youth in our communities and our congregations. They need to feel and be valued and have fulfilling ways to occupy their free time.
- The importance of knowing about and using "211" info line when looking for information and resources was highlighted.
- People sometimes withdraw from the congregation when going through something in their personal lives to "save face". The church should be a safe place to share, and we ought to be disciples of Christ versus being a social club.
- The idea was raised of having a monthly resource posting in church on a specific topic (domestic violence, substance abuse, bullying, self-violence, food pantries, money management, youth activities) with local resources and sup- port services listed related to that topic.
- How to translate these concerns into action? Prayer followed by active outreach. Keep shared information confidential and use small groups for prayer so people feel more comfortable sharing. Identify and use the resources in the congregation to help each other.
Group Focus: Violent Speech & Electronic Violence
- Listening to each other carefully and thoughtfully was the highlight. Discussion continued on the importance of healthy communication and the effects of broken communication.
- The importance of parental and family involvement was also stressed. Parental education is a major factor. It is necessary to identify and utilize new methods to rally the media and parents to be aware of these issues.
- Share what you have learned and invite others to upcoming "Conversations on Violence" in other cities!