UUs to hear program on domestic violence and abuse

By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
Because of its inclusiveness, the Unitarian Universalist (UU) faith is a complex one requiring ongoing study and conversation as a process of reaching consensus about a common core of beliefs. At the same time, there is consensus about much of what we believe.
We are a profoundly human faith. Whether we see our charge as loving our neighbor or ending the suffering of all sentient beings, whether a transcendent dimension is part of our worldview or not, our primary focus for religious action is the well-being of this world.
With this focus in mind, the Pagosa UU Fellowship has invited a representative of Rise Above Violence to speak to us in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
Darcy Downing, longtime resident of Pagosa Springs and advocate volunteer coordinator for Rise Above Violence, will present the program, “Rising Above the Tides of Violence — from Victim to Advocate.” Be prepared to hear her powerful story of redemption and recovery from childhood trauma and ritual abuse.
Her process of healing ultimately led her into the counseling profession, which later led her into the role of advocacy with Rise Above Violence where she supports and advocates for those experiencing their own changing tides in life.
Downing will be sharing information about domestic violence, its impact and how the role of an advocate can promote the success of a victim into the role of survivor and ultimately advocate.
“Healing has all to do with process and, often, that process begins with a stranger who is willing to come alongside and become a friend,” she said.
Through the support of grants, donations, fundraising efforts and volunteers, Rise Above Violence offers a number of critical services to victims of domestic violence — immediate crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, a court advocate to explain the criminal justice system and assist with civil restraining orders, emergency transportation to safe shelter, advocates to assist with other community agencies and supportive organizations, information and referrals, and speakers and trainers to provide community education. Certainly, this organization is devoted to the well-being of its clients and we applaud and promote its efforts.
The Pagosa UU Fellowship extends an invitation to all to attend our service — whether you seek community, encouragement to spiritual growth, freedom to seek truth where ever it resides or simply a quite interlude of reflection. We are a welcoming congregation and invite everyone to share in our faith community. We cherish diversity and foster a safe environment for all.
Service begins at 10:30 a.m. and, following that, we invite you to share refreshments and conversation. Find us in Unit B-15 of the Greenbriar Plaza. From North Pagosa Boulevard, turn right onto Park Avenue and right again into Greenbriar Plaza, then turn left and continue around the complex until you see the Unitarian Universalist sign as it faces the mountains. Come in and join us. You are welcome.
For further information about Pagosa UU Fellowship, visit pagosauu.org or call 731-7900.

This story was posted on September 15, 2018.