The purpose of this project is to increase awareness of and advocacy for children of domestic violence in two Lutheran congregations in the Diocese of Borg, Norway, through education and mentoring. The project is a contribution to the development of a practical theology of advocacy and care for the wounded child. This study asserts that an increased awareness of and advocacy for suffering children is a central part of Christian discipleship.
This project calls for an advocacy by the Church, speaking for children who are not able to speak for themselves and empowering children’s voices. According to this, two strategies have been developed and implemented. The strategies focus on strengthening the practice of infant baptism and Christian education as practices of advocacy and care.
The first strategy focuses on the churches’ ministries with children, particularly in Christian education. A course with two parts was developed and tested. A preliminary analysis indicates that the course created an increased awareness of children of domestic violence and a new sensitivity of the role of the leader in children’s ministry. Participants in the second part of the course reported that they need more tools to be able to advocate and care for children of domestic violence.
The second strategy focuses on the priests of the two participating congregations, and mentoring them as they talk with parents about the care and protection of their children. Preliminary feedback has been gathered in the form of verbal responses from the priests and questionnaires completed by parents who were visited by the priests. The results are promising. The pilot project and practice also evoked questions about the role of the priest, as well as limiting the conversation and goals for the conversation. These questions demonstrate the need for further studies.
Content Reader: Kara Powell, PhD
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Torbjornsen, Magne, "“Protect My Moment”: A Call for Awareness of and Advocacy for the Wounded Child" (2015). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 184.