Sermon shared November 27, 2016.
Good morning. My name is Lynne Marie Wanamaker. I am a long time member of this congregation. I serve on the Worship Committee, and have also served on the Safe Relations Team and the Religious Education Council. Some of you may also know that I am the Deputy Director of Safe Passage, a Northampton-based agency committed to creating a world free of domestic violence and relationship abuse. Safe Passage supports survivors and their families, engages our community, and advocates for systemic change.
I mention this because this morning I want to share some observations drawn from my experiences working at Safe Passage. I hope these reflections have relevance to you. I also want to alert you that our work, and therefore my words, acknowledge the existence of interpersonal violence. I will not describe this reality in very much more detail than I have just done. But I am aware that those of us who have been affected by interpersonal violence -- as victims, survivors, witnesses, and perpetrators -- are present in every gathered community. And so I invite you to be present to this sermon and to your own emotional and spiritual well-being in whatever ways are best for you.
I’m going to end this content note with a spoiler of what’s coming later: Just so you know, one of the things that is most healing to human beings when we are hurt, or when we are remembering past hurts, is loving human connection.