Pondering the Martha Award

During our gathering in October, we continued our discussion about the Martha Award. This past spring, we gave this same award to Yvette Molina for all her work with the House of Manna. We have decided to give our next award to a woman from the Women Aware organization and will ask them for input regarding a name. Since not all of us are familiar with this organization, here is a little more about them:

The mission statements reads: “Women Aware is committed to a vision of a just society. Our mission is to end domestic violence in the lives of men, women, and children and to change societal attitudes and institutions that promote and condone violence, through public policy advocacy, education and programs and services that promote lives free of abuse. We are devoted to empowering women to live free from violence. We encourage victims to look clearly at their present situation and to make the changes necessary to build a strong foundation for healing, self-confidence and independence.”
In 2009, Women Aware helped over 6,000 women and children in Middlesex County to move beyond abuse. In collaboration with the Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) and with funding from the NJ Division on Women, we launched the “Esperanza Domestic Violence Project” to raise awareness about domestic violence in the Latina community. We began a pastoral counseling program for residents of the safe house and a homework club to provide educational support and assistance for the children in the PALS program. And, with the generous support of Robert Wood Johnson foundation, we have expanded the role of the Visiting Nurses services to include health education and medical screening for families in shelter. We have also made some infrastructure improvements bringing the 3rd floor of our administrative offices up to code and making the safety and security improvements needed for the PALS program. So on behalf of all victims of domestic violence and the advocates who assist them, please accept my heartfelt thanks for your support – yesterday, today and tomorrow.

More information about Women Aware can be found on their website womenaware.net. You will see that our church is mentioned on the website as one their sponsors. The Board of Deacons and the Women’s Guild support them every year with benevolence monies. The Martha Award will be presented on March 5, 2011 at a Women’s Guild brunch. Please mark your calendars — women of FRC — because it would be wonderful to have many of us there. We will also invite a speaker for this event.

Since we were discussing the parameters of the Martha Award, we decided to focus our Bible study on Martha, Jesus’ friend. It was very insightful to learn more about her. Most of us are familiar with the story of Martha and Mary, but Joan had found some interesting information in other passages.

We talked a little about the Advent Breakfast; you will find an invitation elsewhere in this newsletter. Please keep this date free, and know that friends are welcome!

If you have any Christmas cards that we can use, please bring them in and give them to Erie. They will be used to write a card to all residents of the Reformed Church home. The residents really like it that they receive a personal card.

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