....Early on in my work at Renewal House, I attended a training led by Rhea Almeida about her program in New Jersey and her efforts to provide opportunities for restorative justice. I continually think about that model – and those who say “only someone like Rhea can do that work.” The opportunity Rhea offers for families to share the reality of domestic violence and, together, create a path to healing and wholeness is revolutionary. It does not mean that the family is reunited; rather, through the process of separation they all get a chance to tell their stories in a community of both support and accountability. This model is what I hope Restorer’s Ministry and Renewal House both achieve as we seek to be people of faith in a world that, in many ways, is “fallen.” In my mind, that is the importance of faith communities and their contributions to the work of ending domestic violence – we have the opportunity to serve all members of the family as they seek to heal and make better choices in their lives. That, I believe, is the social justice work that people of faith are poised to do together.

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