Friday, October 30
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Presbytery of Western New York
Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It doesn’t stop at the border of a town or city and crosses all demographic strata. The police in Amherst, a suburb of Buffalo, report handling over 1,500 cases of domestic violence every year. And with so many victims afraid to come forward, it is likely that there are far more victims than reported cases.
Another reason victims do not come forward is that the system is so cumbersome. A victim must deal with numerous agencies to receive all the services necessary to escape abuse—police, courts, prosecutors, child services, and more. To ease these demands, the Family Justice Center (FJC) of Erie County was created in 2006 to provide a single location where domestic-violence victims and their children can receive all the services they need.
North Presbyterian Church in Amherst had a manse that its pastor was no longer using, and the session was wrestling with what to do with the property. Meanwhile, a coalition of churches was discussing the idea of a satellite location for the FJC in Buffalo’s northern suburbs, spurred in part by pastors who were seeing an overwhelming number of domestic-violence situations. North Church’s manse was the perfect fit for the satellite location.
The coalition, which includes Presbyterian, Episcopal, Catholic, Methodist, and Wesleyan congregations, came together with other community groups such as the Boy Scouts and the Rotary Club to fund the necessary renovations of the entire house. The satellite location opened in February of 2014 and has received a constant stream of visitors.
Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, located in Buffalo’s southern suburbs, has also donated its former manse for use as a FJC satellite location. At a recent FJC event, upon learning that both satellite locations were in former Presbyterian manses, someone was overheard remarking, “Wow, these Presbyterians sure know how to get things done!”
The Presbytery of Western New York serves 56 congregations.
—Elder Brad Hahn, webmaster and newsletter editor, Presbytery of Western New York
Let us join in prayer for:
Rev. Bronwen Boswell, presbyter of discipleship, communication, and transformation
Rev. Laura Norris Buisch, stated clerk
Elder Jan Tyson, office administrator and disaster response coordinator
Dale Harten, business manager
Elder Brad Hahn, webmaster and newsletter editor
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
God of all, we remember this day those who suffer at the hands of others. We ask, O God, that you would give them strength, peace, and hope as they navigate the issues of daily life. May we, as your people, continue to be a blessing for those who need help and hope. Amen.