Katie's Fund and Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Roxanne Hochsprung is part of Grace and Peace Lutheran Church in Peoria, IL. This October, for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Roxanne’s unit is leading an adult-education series using I Believe You¸ a documentary about domestic violence and faith that was partially funded by Katie’s Fund. In September, Roxanne wrote this article for the Women of the ELCA convention in Central-Southern Illinois:
In our convention offering, we have the opportunity to support Katie’s Fund, an endeavor of Women of the ELCA. There was a wonderful article about Katie’s Fund in the May issue of Gather, entitled “A Woman Who Inspires.” Guess which woman that is! If you guessed Katie Luther, you are absolutely correct.
To be honest, most of the information in the article wasn’t new to me. My unit at Grace and Peace Lutheran Church has supported Katie’s Fund for years! Helen Hamilton, a longtime member of the congregation, made sure this was a line item in the budget each and every year. Even so, I didn’t know that Katharina von Bora Luther brewed her own beer! The Gather article referred to her as a savvy business woman. I would say, the CEO of her household! At our last convention, Marlene Zenker performed a historical dramatization of Katie that left all of us feeling like we could be friends with this remarkable woman.
Picture yourself sharing a cup of coffee (or beer) with Katie, talking about your ups and downs, and enjoying a laugh or two. Of course it would be Fair Trade coffee in your mugs and you would discuss how the lives of women and children were changed because of this cup of coffee! Katie’s Fund dollars have helped women learn about Fair Trade.
If I were sitting with Katie, I would say how grateful I am for Katie’s Fund because its dollars supported a documentary about domestic violence and faith. The film, called I Believe You: Faiths’ Response to Intimate Partner Violence, was supported by Women of the ELCA, United Methodist Women, The New York Board of Rabbis, Presbyterian Women, and a consortium of Muslim organizations.
I volunteer for the Center for Prevention of Abuse as a medical advocate. I’ve gone to hospitals in the middle of the night to advocate for women after they were physically or mentally abused or raped. I’ve sat with them and listened to their stories. I’ve looked into their eyes and told them I believed them. I’ve prayed with them. I’ve cried with them. I am not a trained counselor, just a person who cares and listens.
The first time I watched I Believe You, I was struck by these words: “When I cried, God cried. When I laughed, God laughed. And when I found my way through, it was because God was leading the way.”
This is just one example of what Katie’s Fund can accomplish. We are bold Women of the ELCA and we care deeply about women and children, just like Katie Luther. We have the opportunity to contribute to Katie’s Fund and help the endowment grow so that many generations of women can live out our mission and purpose to “act boldly” and “promote healing and wholeness in the church, society, and the world.”
The Women of Grace and Peace Lutheran Church, my congregation, purchased the I Believe You DVD and study guide and plan to show it in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We will use it as an adult education class for men and women during the Sunday school hour.