Grace UMC hopes event can help women to heal from abuse

  • Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The mission of the United Methodist Women is to support women and children locally, nationally and internationally.

On Aug. 28, the United Methodist Women of Grace United Methodist Church will present a Journey to Healing, an event that will help women to heal from abuse.

“This is a way for us to support the mission of the United Methodist Women,” Peggie Ruben, co-president of the group at Grace United Methodist Church, said. “This just happened to be Sissy (Holler’s) topic.”

Holler is the sister of the Rev. Jim Dennis, senior pastor at Grace United Methodist Church.

“She is also a Methodist minister’s wife and experienced trauma as a child,” Ruben said. “Jim Dennis passed along a tape of her speaking, and we decided to bring her in to speak with us.”

Dennis called his sister’s service a great event for churches.

“I think it’s something a lot of churches need,” he said. “At first, I was embarrassed because this is my sister taking about my family, but once I saw her speak and saw all the good it was doing, I realized people need this. I’ve been here (at Grace) for four years and now I can say, ‘Let’s get real.’ We don’t need to put on a face anymore.”

The event, which will take place in the Wesley Center at Grace United Methodist Church at 7 p.m., is free to all women of Grace and their guests.

Ruben and Wilma Allen, the other co-president of the United Methodist Women at Grace United Methodist Church, have planned for desserts at the event.

“There will be homemade desserts that are free,” Ruben said. “(People who attend) can also expect some beginnings of healing for themselves. A lot of people walk around with emotional scars. Sissy didn’t realize her scars until she experienced another trauma in her life.”

Ruben is hoping a study group will form from the Journey to Healing event in order to continue to work on healing from abuse.

“We’re hoping to start a study after which will continue to deal with emotional issues,” Ruben said. “It could be from physical or emotional problems as a child or trauma as an adult. We will have a counselor that will lead the study, if there is interest in starting it up.”

Dennis is said the small groups should be for the people of the church and can be held outside of the church.

“I’m encouraging the formation of small groups, not led by me or the church staff, but by members,” he said. “This is aimed at women who have been harmed in the past. The talk is a great event and can lead to real healing in the small groups.”

The Journey to Healing will take place on Thursday, Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Wesley Center at Grace United Methodist Church, located at 639 Georgia Ave. For more information, call 803-279-7525.

T.J. Lundeen is a reporter for The North Augusta Star. Follow him on Twitter @lundeentj for more updates.

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