Friday, March 6, 2020

First Church on Sunday: Historic Perspective on Every-day Life

Open your mind. Open your heart. Open some doors to safety.

A Difficult Conversation that's Dearly Needed  

Sunday, International Women's Day
March 8, at 4pm
First Church, 
190 Court Street in Middletown

The Murder Ballad Project
In Shades of Gray, Murder Ballad songs
Bear Witness to Domestic Violence
Through the Years

There have been so many years of this unpleasant phenomenon--domestic violence. And so little discussion about it. Until now. It's not an easy topic to address. It's terrifying to those who experience it; terrifying for those who hear about it. What can we do?

You may not know about domestic violence from your own family. But sadly domestic violence is pervasive in every-day life almost everywhere--it's global. Sadly. It's not fun to talk about or listen to, but if you can imagine how you'd feel if your mother or sister--or father or brother--was in a relationship that provoked violence in the home, that might bring it home to you and you might be deeply moved.

Karen Hogg's photo.

Think about that--think about where your mother or sister would go if they needed shelter from a threatening situation at home--or who they would talk with.  In the past, when no shelter was available, the outcome was often drastic--abuse, threats, fear, uncontrolled violence of passion--murder, even. I think it's a form of bullying. That's what the murder ballads are about.

New Horizons, headed up by program director Denetra McBride, is a new organization that's up and running now through the Community Health Center (CHC) in Middletown. New Horizons is a sponsor of the Murder Ballad project, and addresses this shocking, ongoing need for safety for women in our culture, providing support services and direction for those whose domestic situation is intolerable. 

The murder ballads that will be sung in Sunday's performance are songs about the awfulness of domestic violence. The ballads are a potent cry of the need for shelter and assistance through the ages, and also of the violent expression of difficulties in day-to-day living in an intimate or marriage situation.

Some of the songs may be heard in Friday's River Valley Rhythms broadcast on WESU. You can listen at the link below, and you will be amazed.

You may have heard some of these songs, and if you come for the performance on Sunday, you'll hear more. The presenters, musicians, and singers* show a long and understanding perspective on the problem of domestic violence. And surely, they're not going to lecture you! --They will entertain you, talk to you, sing to you, and hope you'll come away with a feeling that we need to give more attention to domestic violence and family problems in our culture. 

Be there, be aware!  And if you do attend, please think about donating a little something for people at the shelters--cash, supplies, and a long list of everyday supplies--nonperishable food items, menstrual products (i.e., pads), body lotion, body wash/soap, laundry pods, hair products for women of color, gift cards (for outlets like Target where these items are available).


The Murder Ballad Project

Find out more at .  
or at Facebook:
Find out about New Horizons services at 860-344-9995.

*Performers include Charissa Hoffman, Amanda Monaco, Karen Hogg, Pamela Means, Lara Herscovitch, Karen Dahlstrom, Kate Ten Eyck, Natalie Hamilton, Emily McDermott, Rani Arbo, Magdalena Abrego, and Merly De La Hoz-Cookson.

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