The Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network (PADVN) has released its annual resource packet for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations to use as they observe October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The 2012 packet theme is Entering the Brokenness. It focuses on domestic violence that results in death.

Trina Zelle, executive director of the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare Association (PHEWA) ― of which PADVN is a constituent network, one of ten member networks ― said:

“Whenever the trauma of domestic violence occurs within a faith community, it is a gross violation of not only the victim of the violence and the immediate family; it also violates the spiritual integrity of the whole community of faith and each of its members.
This is especially true when the victim has been murdered. The focus of this year's packet centers on addressing this grievous issue.”

In addition to awareness resources and worship aids, “Entering the Brokenness” provides liturgical resources that are designed to help congregations address and cope with the death of a community member through their worship life together.

“Our hope is that this packet represents the first steps towards a work in progress as Christian communities develop effective worship resources that enter into the brokenness of domestic violence,” Zelle said.

Resources in the packet include:


  • Violent Death in the Community of Faith
  • One Pastor’s Response to Tragedy, Part I, What Happened
  • One Pastor’s Response to Tragedy, Part II, Education
  • One Pastor’s Response to Tragedy, Part III, A Service of Remembrance and Healing
  • Clinging To the Threshold of Hope, A Sermon
  • When Words Fail ... The Psalms Speak
  • Prayers of Invocation
  • A Service of Commitment to Survivors of Family Violence

PHEWA is a ministry of the Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministry Area of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.