Domestic violence focus of virtual tour

A five-day online virtual mission tour will allow Baptist women to educate themselves about what Baptists are doing and can do to address the problem of domestic violence.

By Bob Allen

American Baptist Women’s Ministries will lead an online “virtual mission encounter” on the topic of domestic violence Sept. 23-27.

“Garlands instead of Ashes: Domestic Violence” is the third of four learning opportunities in 2013 allowing women to meet online and share their passion for mission without the expense of travel and having to take time off work.

virginia holmstrom“Persons that have participated in our previous virtual mission encounters have raved about these unique opportunities for participatory learning around issues that matter,” Virginia Holmstrom, executive director of American Baptist Women’s Ministries told American Baptist News Service.

The virtual mission encounter includes e-mailed daily activities to help participants delve more deeply into the topic and educate themselves, find inspiration and generate new ideas for involvement for themselves or their faith communities. It will also include an opportunity to engage with other participants through a private blog set up specifically for this event.

A highlight of each virtual mission encounter is the evening conference call. Every evening of the virtual mission encounter, participants are able to hear from and have conversation with someone with experience and direct engagement in the topic of the day.

Scheduled guests for “Garlands instead of Ashes” include Debra Fields, community education and prevention supervisor at the Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee; Nancy Murphy, founder and director of the Northwest Family Life Learning and Counseling Center in Seattle; Susan Chorley, director of Renewal House, a domestic violence shelter in the Boston area; and Adalia Gutierrez Lee, commissioned American Baptist missionary in Baja, Tijuana, serving victims of domestic violence.

Registration for the five-day virtual mission encounter is $30 per person and is available to do online at

Previous encounters in February on women’s advocacy and immigrants and refugees took place in February and May. The final offering of the year, “For I Was in Prison and You Visited Me: Prison and Aftercare Ministries,” is scheduled for Nov. 4-8.