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United Church of Christ

533 Route 28, Harwich Port, MA 02646 | Phone: 508-432-1668

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Waves of Faith-December 8, 2017

In December our worship theme is hope. Every week in the Waves of Faith I promised you I would share a story of hope. This week’s story is close to home. I found it in the Cape Cod Chronicle.  It is the story of one of our members, Jannell Brown. She had to go to court last week because the man she was living with accused her of assault. She was acquitted quite quickly, but she garnered a lot of publicity because Jannell is also a member of the Harwich Board of Selectmen. 

I draw attention to this story not to embarrass Jannell but because I am so impressed by the way she has handled this situation. She used the publicity she garnered to draw attention to the way that abuse so often works in couples. Abusive people are savvy about the law and understand how it works. They are also clever about how best to shame their victims and use shame to control them.

Jannell Brown said, “I hope my story will enlighten the public as to the prevalence of domestic abuse and the trap it sets for people.”  Too often it is easy to blame the victims in these moments, but Jannell used her own situation and attendant publicity to help educate the whole community about a very human problem. The sooner we begin to bring this issue out of the shadows of shame and into the open, the sooner we can be honest about how prevalent domestic abuse is and then work harder to fight it. 

The power most abusers trade on is the power of secrecy and the sooner we cease to be afraid to talk about this the sooner we eliminate a huge piece of the power they often wield behind closed doors. It is consistent with our Biblical faith that we look honestly at the good and bad in family life just as the Bible looked openly at all kinds of personal issues. I am particularly grateful to someone who takes their own misfortune and turns it into a way to help others. 

This story give me hope that together we can build a more just world for all our families.


Rev. Susan

I hope you will join me at 11 a.m. on Wednesday for an Advent Discussion on Preparing for Christmas. I will be leading an hour long session on how we prepare spiritually for one of the holiest times of the year. 

The hour includes some thoughts from me about Advent, some Bible study and plenty of time for your thoughts and questions. 

Posted: Friday December 8, 2017