In September, Hillsboro Friends will begin a Moms Support Group—a project requested by HomePlate youth and led by a HomePlate mom named Mary. This young single mom is driven by her need for guidance as she parents her four-year-old son, and a deep desire to help peer moms learn enough to avoid losing their children to state custody. Sadly, that happens often to this at-risk population.
Our first project will be to study the “Hand-And-Words-Are-Not-For-Hurting Program” so we can share it with the Moms Group and other HomePlate youth. Founded in 1997 in Salem, Oregon, the program asks individuals and families to make a simple pledge not to use hands or words to harm themselves or others. They make a tracing of their hand on purple paper, write their name on it and post it in their home as a reminder of their pledge. (See www.handsproject.org)
Mary is intensely drawn to this program. Coming from a home filled with every kind of abuse, she is determined that her son will have a better life. She’s excited to share the plan with her friends.
It’s always seemed to me that our Quaker peace testimony, beginning in our hearts, must first be nurtured in our homes before it’s carried into the world. It’s a joy to watch this young woman as she says, “Yes! I want that peace in my son’s life! I want this for my community!”
Contributed by Bernie Bosnjak, pastor, Hillsboro Friends