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“Create in me a clean heart, O God.” —Ps. 51:10

Sunday, October 12

The Lord’s Day

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Minute for Mission:

Domestic Violence Awareness

Students in the domestic violence seminar, after the experiential exercise Courtesy of Bonnie M. Orth


Students in the domestic violence seminar, after the experiential exercise


Courtesy of Bonnie M. Orth


Did you know that every year one in four adolescents reports physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse and that one in three teens reports knowing a friend or peer who has been physically hurt by his or her partner through violent actions that included hitting? Every year I have the privilege of presenting a seminar on domestic violence to high school students.

I begin with an experiential exercise that allows the students to walk in the shoes of domestic violence victims—to enter into their lives and make decisions that determine the outcome of their stories. We then talk about domestic violence, an issue of power and control, which always leads to a lively discussion on dating violence, self-esteem, peer pressure, and how to be a good friend and listener. We look at what healthy and unhealthy dating relationships look like.

Though written in prison, Paul’s letter to the Philippians is full of joy. In fact, Paul mentions joy and rejoicing 14 times in this short letter. He encourages the Philippians to live out their faith in unity and joy. In today’s passage Paul talks about right praying, right thinking, and right living. On this Sunday when we remember that domestic violence remains a huge issue in our world, let us take the time to talk to and teach our teens about healthy relationships and how to make good choices.

—Rev. Bonnie Orth, Presbyterian Health, Education, and Welfare Association Board of Directors, representing the Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence Network; pastor, Mayfield (NY) Central Presbyterian Church

Let us pray

Dear God, we rejoice in you always and thank you for watching over us. Help us to model healthy relationships for our teens and to teach them right praying, right thinking, and right living. Help them to be a friend to another who may need someone to listen, and help them to break the silence about domestic violence. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Exod. 32:1–14
“Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
PH 276

Ps. 106:1–6, 19–23
“Creating God, Your Fingers Trace”
PH 134

Phil. 4:1–9
“We Gather Together”
HB 18, PH 559

Matt. 22:1–14
“I Danced in the Morning”
PH 302

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 19; 150
First Reading Hosea 11:1-11
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 4:9-16
Gospel Reading Matthew 15:21-28
Evening Psalms 81; 113

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