This is a compilation of many worship recommendations that have a particular focus on the effects of abuse as we continue to strive to worship our Triune God:
Song Resources from Lift Up Your Hearts
#297 Open Our Eyes
#410 How Long Will You Forget Me, Lord
#413 Lord You Are My Strength (with optional prayer)
#414 All Will Be Well
#431 The Lord Is My Light (with optional prayer)
#446 We Cannot Measure How You Heal
#614 Come, You Disconsolate
#636 A Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Pardon
#658 Bring Peace to Earth Again
#665 I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
#707 Goodness is Stronger than Evil
Song Resources from The Worship Sourcebook
Litanies of Lament (Pages 111-114)
Litanies of Healing (Pages 220-234)
Litanies of Confession (Pages 86-87
Prayers for Justice and Peace (Pages 220-223)
Prayers for Healing (Pages 224-227)
Prayers for Comfort in Grief (Pages 228-229)
Prayers of Lament (Pages 229-234)
Prayers of Confession (Pages 87-111)
Lament for a Broken Community: This is an article from Reformed Worship that shares a prayer of lament - along with a testimony of acceptance and hope as a community journeys through incredible grief.
Made in God’s Image: Article which provides songs about sexual identity
Biblical Themes in Safe Church Ministry: Not sure what to preach about on Abuse Awareness Sunday? Safe Church Ministry is founded on Biblical principles, any of which could provide good texts for a sermon.
Worship Services Incorporating Issues of Abuse:
How Long Will You Forget Me, O Lord?: A service of lament based on Psalm 13
What a Friend We Have in Jesus: A service of prayer for healing
Praying Our Emotions: The psalms urge us to pray the mess of our emotions as an act of faith; their ancient voices offer wise guides for worship
Worship and Sermon Resources:
We must find the time to preach on abuse and all its forms in our churches. Those who continue to live in situations of abuse must know there is no reasonable excuse for others to use their power to abuse another person. This is true for all of our relationships, whether they are the closest friends and family, relationships in the church, or with any other image bearer of God.
Please note, when sermons are being crafted on the topic of domestic violence, or other types of abuse that may trigger different types of trauma, consider the following (modified list from Faith Trust Institute):
Those who have been victimized often need to hear that the abuse is not their fault, and not God's will.
They also need to hear that they are not alone and that help is available.
Let them know that without intervention, abuse often escalates in frequency and severity over time.
Those who are in domestic violence situations should not be in couples counseling, instead refer to a specialized domestic violence counseling program.
Let them know there are shelters, safe homes, and advocacy resources available.
Don't minimize the abusive behavior.
If you preach on reconciliation for an abusive relationship, always make sure that it is always in the context of accountability, justice and a coordinated community response for those who are victimized (click here to learn more about a coordinated community response).
For other worship resources, see our worship resource page here
The Abuse Jesus Took (Passage: Matthew 27:27-31): This is a sermon that was preached at Lombard CRC on Sept. 17, 2017 about the abuse that Jesus, our Lord, experienced, and how he has born our sin and pain.
A Safe Church Message from Psalm 10 - This Psalm of lament speaks to the reason for Safe Church Ministry.
Sin in the Community: By Rev. Andrew Beunk, based on Ezra 9 and 10 (selected verses). Abuse in its various forms - emotional, physical and sexual - is a secret sin, so secret that sometimes we think "this never happens in my family or in my church or in my community.”
You Are the Man: By Rev. Sean Baker, a sermon based on 2 Samuel 11-12. A sermon which focuses on David’s crime against Bathsheba as sexual assault, and urges us to recognize the seriousness of such abuse in our own congregations.
Abuse: Still Not Getting It: By Rev. Robert A. Arbogast, another sermon based on the story of David’s crime against Bathsheba, with a focus on the way the church has never understood or identified abuse as such.
To give you more ideas for your sermons, visit SOJO.NET/100SERMONS.
Sojourners is an organization committed to racial and social justice, life and peace, and environmental stewardship. Back when #MeToo went viral in 2017, the movement paved the way for #ChurchToo and #SilenceIsNotSpiritual, hashtags that insisted that because Christians are not immune to perpetrating sexual and domestic violence, they must actively denounce it. Christians all across the spectrum spoke out online against abuse. So Sojourners became curious and asked this question: will faith leaders be willing to elevate the conversation from Twitter to the pulpit?
They invited pastors and parishioners to send them sermons on domestic and sexual violence, hoping to have 100 sermons by the end of the year. In just a few months they had nearly 150. View their website to read quotes from each sermon, and learn how you can begin making your church a safer sanctuary for survivors. You can search by location, scripture, or denomination.
The Long Journey Home: Understanding and Ministering to the Sexually Abused (2011) edited by Andrew J. Schmutzer. The book draws together a range of the best research on abuse from a variety of fields to provide a cohesive and thorough resource for churches.
The Cry of Tamar: Violence Against Women and the Church’s Response (2012 by Pamela Cooper-White). A thorough resource for understanding violence against women and how the church can respond appropriately.