A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Reformed Churches and Abuse Victims: A Researcher Wants to Hear from You

Dr. Valerie Hobbs has contacted us in regard to research she is doing on how abuse victims and abuse cases are being handled in Reformed churches. We agreed to post her request here. Tell your story to her (email her directly, don’t post it here). Perhaps her research will be another avenue of exposing what is happening, good or bad.

“I am a Christian academic (linguist), living in England and working at the University of Sheffield (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/english/people/hobbs). I grew up in a Presbyterian church whose leaders held to a very narrow view of divorce and of women’s roles in society, an experience which formed the foundations for a lifelong interest in how women are represented, pastored, and talked/written about in the Reformed Christian church.

My research has taken a direction towards analyzing the language used
in cases of Reformed Christian church discipline involving women where the issues of marriage/headship/abuse and the like are central. I am interested in hearing from anyone with firsthand knowledge of such cases as described above (whether handled satisfactorily or not). I am keen to use my expertise to bring these cases to light and ultimately describe, understand and even question the Reformed Church’s views of women as they are foundational to how cases of abuse and divorce are handled.

I can be contacted at v.hobbs@sheffield.ac.uk.

All information will be treated confidentially, and all those who communicate with me will be given final say as to which (anonymized) information can be used in my project and which cannot. Also, by communicating with me, there is no obligation to participate in my research. You may withdraw at any time, with no explanation.

With gratitude,
Dr. Valerie Hobbs”

65 Comments

  1. HappyToBursting

    This is wonderful! I will definitely be sharing my story with her.

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Thanks so much – I look forward to hearing from you.

  2. cindyrapstad

    I was not part of what is considered a Reformed Church but many of the practices as far as marriage follow the Reformed Church. Not sure if my story would fit within her research.

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Thanks for your interest in sharing your story. My focus is on the Reformed Church (broadly speaking) and not on any one denomination. I would be pleased to hear from you

  3. JJ

    …Googling “what is the reformed church”…

    • Jeff Crippen

      JJ- Generally it is Presbyterian churches. But there are others such as the Christian Reformed Church. And then there are Reformed Baptists. Churches that adhere to the reformation confessions such as the Westminster, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, Canons of Dort, and so on.

      • Valerie Hobbs

        Thanks for this comment, JJ. I intentionally didn’t put “Presbyterian” since there are many other non-Presbyterian denominations/churches that consider themselves Reformed. I myself currently attend a Reformed Baptist Church.

      • Maybe you would like to amplify a bit more what you mean by Reformed churches, Valerie Hobbs. Jeff has I think done well in listing the Reformed Confessions that various Reformed Churches follow. But you may have more to add.

        I’d also be interested to know whether you think John MacArthur is Reformed. And ditto John Piper. But you may not want to go there (yet). So pass on that one if you wish to.

        In your research, are you spanning all churches and leaders that define themselves as Reformed? Or are you wanting to make it more restricted in some way. I ask this because in Reformed circles there are arguments and debates about whether or not a given church or denomination is ‘truly Reformed’ or is even allowed to call themselves ‘Reformed’ if they only subscribe to some of the aspect of Reformed theology, but not all. I don’t want to muddy or complicate things too much here, but I’m just wanting a little clarification from you, if you think it’s needed. . . .

        And btw, I am so grateful you have contacted us and are doing this research. God is good! I am looking forward to an ongoing relationship with you that I hope may prove to the benefit of all our readers and those we seek to influence. May God bless you richly. πŸ™‚

      • Valerie Hobbs

        Hi again, Barbara. Thanks very much for this comment, and I appreciate that it is indeed a thorny issue. For the purposes of my study, I’m not sure I want to get into the whole ‘is this church Reformed or is it not Reformed’. Instead, if a church describes itself as Reformed, then I am assuming it falls within the purposes of my study. Regarding the names you mention, which are very familiar to me, I don’t think I’m in a position to say whether or not they are Reformed. You may have more expertise than I do upon which you can rely to make those judgements. That said, I currently attend a Reformed Baptist church and have attended a Reformed church for almost my entire life, so I (still) consider myself an insider.

        Again, your insights are very useful. I would encourage anyone who attended a self-described Reformed church (any denomination) to contact me if they have a story s/he is willing to share.

  4. Still Reforming

    The church I used to attend was not titled as Reformed, but was so in its doctrine. FYI, I tried sending her an email and got this error message: “v.hobbs@sheffield.ac.uk. is not a valid email address” I cut and pasted the email from the post.

    • Jeff Crippen

      I will check it out. Thx

      • Jeff Crippen

        I think the probl with the email address is that there should not be that last period there after uk

      • Still Reforming

        Thanks, Pastor Jeff! I’ll try again… My mistake. I must have inadvertently picked up the period of the sentence with the email address. Sorry ’bout that.

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure why the address wouldn’t work. It might be worth trying again (or else you could follow the link through my staff webpage, above, and click on the link there). I hope you will persevere as I’d be interested to hear from you.

  5. Remedy

    Thank the Lord for another voice crying out for the light of Biblical truth in this area! The way most of us are being handled, Leslie, is precisely outlined in Pastor Jeff’s book. Our stories have different details, but all spring up from the same foundation….. a mindset & theology of male entitlement and dominance/control that they feel is their God-given right to use in any way they feel is right with zero accountability to the Scriptures or church authorities. Basically, we as women, have no rights in a male dominated church. And to question this as far as how far this goes in a marriage labels us as unsubmissive, ungodly, and lacking the understanding of the Lordship of Christ in our lives…ie, you may not even be saved since you will not submit yourself to what looks more like Satan’s plan for marriage, post fall vs God’s plan from the beginning.
    Please refer to Pastor Jeff’s synopsis of the typical response to women when they FINALLY arrive at their wit’s end and go to the church. Pretty certain you will find a chorus of hearty AMENS from the followers on this site.
    Please be another voice crying out in the wilderness!! God knows we need it desperately!!!!

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Thank you for your supportive comments. I am aware of others working on this, pastors in the Reformed community even. I hope to do justice to the stories I receive. Thanks again

  6. Many Biblical Counseling leaders have strong ties (i.e., degrees from) Westminster Theological Seminary. Reformed theology is a huge part of the movement, and their views on women and marriage are regressive to say the least.

    • Valerie Hobbs

      April, two Reformed pastors told me recently that the Reformed church’s widely held views on divorce are broken because of how the church has wrongly viewed women. I think he is spot on. We need speak up about this, and I’m grateful for those like Jeff Crippen who have already been laboring long and hard.

      • Two Reformed pastors told me recently that the Reformed church’s widely held views on divorce are broken because of how the church has wrongly viewed women. I think he is spot on.

        Putting this quote on our FB page!

  7. Still Reforming

    If Dr. Hobbs is interested in my story, I’m happy to share it with her, but I have to say that I’m deeply saddened by the tie I’m realizing more and more between Reformed churches and this abuse of headship/patrimony. I’m no feminist, and I am Reformed in my theology. So I’m deeply saddened because it would be my hope on earth to find a Reformed church home that isn’t this way. I keep bumping into Reformed leaders (Piper, MacArthur, etc?) who lean toward the no-divorce line. I feel as though we are a bit like Martin Luther here standing up against the wrongs in the church, and it’s quite painful though necessary. It makes me think of how Jesus must have felt standing up against the hypocrisy within the religious circles of His day. (Please know I’m not comparing myself or any of us to Christ or leveling us to Him in any way – nor Martin Luther really. I’m just relating to the feelings of what it’s like to stand up to a church system and say, “No.” Jesus was fully human and had feelings too – so there had to be some displeasure or discomfort, I might think.)

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Thanks for this comment. You are not alone! There are pastors in the Reformed Church community fighting against the injustices being perpetrated towards abused women in the church. You are right that there are some big forces at work, but there are also those dissenting voices. Don’t give up, don’t lose heart.

      • We would love to hear from those pastors on this blog.

        They may not realise how helpful, how heartwarming, their simple comments of validation and support of our work can be for our readers. Even a single sentence comment from such men is immensely encouraging for us. πŸ™‚

      • Still Reforming

        Thank you, Valerie. I embraced Reformed theology pretty much after I first read about it, initially pondering, “Could this be true?” then seeking the Scriptures to how it lined up. TULIP (total depravity, etc) made sense to me in light of the Bible. Sadly, I have come to learn that many big players in contemporary Reformed circles embrace a “no-divorce-ever” stance. Since I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater or just stop attending Reformed churches altogether, I’m glad to read what you wrote about some leaders in the Reformed Church community combating incorrect exegesis.

        I have to say too that although I fully accepted Reformed interpretation, it has become more difficult to continue studies because the party line by my (anti-)husband has been “wretch, wretch that you are, nagging wife, dripping faucet, unloving, unforgiving, uncompassionate, unmerciful, etc” taking the Word to twist and use against me, making me cower all the more from serious study – especially when the church in which I sought loving shelter of Christian family also turned against me. By embracing him (in the name of “loving him to Jesus”), they turned their collective backs on us. There is no neutral ground when it comes to domestic abuse.

    • Still Reforming, it might amuse you to know that when I said to a non-Christian friend of mine who has worked in the DV sector for decades “I am not a a feminist,” she chuckled and said “Yes you are! You’re a feminist!”

      She knows my work fairly well and had given me platforms to speak to secular networks of DV professionals. She respects me, while not sharing my religious beliefs. And I think she was a bit shocked to hear me say I wasn’t a feminist, because in her perception I was, since I was so clearly advocating for women and standing against the myths and harms that come from assumed male privilege.

      Since then, I’ve been okay with thinking privately about myself as fitting under the ‘feminist’ label. And now I’m outing myself for the first time. LOL. But it all depends on what one means by the label, eh? I don’t subscribe to any version of feminism that hates men per se or that sees Patriarchy as the root cause of all social problems. I believe that sin is the root problem, and Patriarchy is just one way that sin manifests.

      Having said all that, I think those who see ‘feminism’ as a man-hating ideology are wrong. They have maligned feminism for their own ends, and we all know what those ends are, don’t we . . . .

      • Valerie Hobbs

        Barbara, another great comment! Believe it or not, I am currently analyzing around 200 texts written by Reformed Christians for the ways in which they write about feminism. What the texts reveal is that the word ‘feminist’ is used to polarize women (and men in some cases) and create an us vs. them mentality. I hope to have finished an article by the end of next month which answers the question, What does a feminist look like to mainstream Reformed Christianity? (tentative answer: it is someone who has a career, who has abortions, who is promiscuous, who is radical, who neglects her children, who is divorced, who is unhappy, who is anti-Christian, etc.). I have found a few dissenting voices, which I aim to highlight, calling for Reformed Christians to reconsider this kind of stereotyping. But the majority of texts view feminism as evil. Anyway, there is so much to say about all of this, including what this kind of view does to women. I am greatly encouraged to find other Christians who are also reflecting on these things.

      • πŸ™‚ to your tentative answer Valerie, I would add ‘a woman who stands up to male leaders and calls them to account for sinful or dubious conduct’. Maybe you include that under ‘radical’. But the point is, if a man stood up to leaders it would not be seen as so radical.

      • Still Reforming

        I’d never thought about “feminism” that way, Barbara, I suppose since I tend to associate the feminist movement with notables like Gloria Steinem or the feminist movement in the US particularly in the 1960s and ’70s. I grew up in a time when women have had many opportunities in the US where I live and I never saw a need to speak out about “women’s issues,” since I just quietly went about my business, seeking an education and profession and if anyone didn’t like it, I just carried on. Their problems with my gender weren’t an issue for me. I rarely if ever received flack about it.

        Now it seems strange to be on this side of the issue where gender has a prominent role – in that father’s “rights” (I still maintain parenting is a privilege and not a “right”) would seem to trump even that of the child’s own concerns. In that sense, I can see standing up for the cause, but not because of my gender but because of the facts of the case. So I still don’t see myself as a feminist per se, but you have got me thinking that I suppose it depends on how one would define the term feminist.

        Perhaps it has received a bad rap over the years. I am just not keen on taking issues based on gender, skin color, practice of faith, etc. There are so many details and individual points that vary from case to case, although I can see that in the case I’m now living, those details don’t seem to matter in the greater construct of the legal system or to the judge, or so I am told. But I don’t think it’s because I am a woman. I suppose that’s why I still don’t consider myself to be a feminist, but I appreciate your perspective because it’s got me thinking on the matter a bit more carefully. I know that around the world there are many countries where the roles and “rights” of women are not as respected (if they have any at all where they are – like in Saudi Arabia or Iran, China and Pakistan, etc).

      • Annie

        I don’t see how it can be possible to follow Jesus in fighting for the vulnerable and NOT be a feminist. Still, I can understand why Christian women would be reluctant to out themselves as feminists. You couldn’t find a dirtier word in evangelical circles!

      • Still Reforming (previously newlyanonymous)

        Annie,

        I suppose that’s true re: the term “feminist” and how it’s perceived. I confess to some of that bias myself, although that may be changing the more I walk through this trial.

        I think the term for me holds more of a political sense than spiritual or religious. For me I think it carries with it a sense of drawing a line between men and women. Perhaps, not unlike these abusive situations, the line was already drawn by oppression and women just began speaking up for themselves in situations of abuse, be they political or otherwise.

        For me the term “feminist” carries with it a sense of “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar” (old song of Helen Reddy’s – remember her?), I’m disinclined to see myself as a feminist. Perhaps the sense of that word and its associations of “pitting men against women” comes from battles in the US in the political arena with organizations such as National Organization of Women (NOW) or abortion rights groups that advocate how women’s bodies are their own, etc. etc. In other words, there’s this sense of championing the fact of being female above and beyond the facts of any given scenario. Again, please know I’m not saying it’s an accurate sense, but the vestiges of these political battles remain.

        I think that that history is what has added to coloring the word “feminist,” at least in my mind – and perhaps in evangelical and politically conservative arenas as well.

        All that said, I daresay that the more I hear (and don’t hear) from my attorneys and the longer this plays out as it is in my court case with respect to our daughter and how little her voice is valued and how greatly her dad-abuser’s (so-called) rights are held high, well, I’m beginning to wish I had sought a female attorney. I get this very subtle sense that my attorney and the head of the law firm almost side with our abuser. It’s like the facts of our case don’t really even matter. (Something I will never forget is how after my 2-hour meeting with these attorneys – the second firm I’d interviewed – and putting down a very expensive retainer, my attorney walked me to my car and said something that made me shudder. It was with respect to an incident I told them about when my husband had screamed at me, spinning the car around on the way to a luncheon one day with our daughter in the car, all because I asked him to write himself a note about something he’d promised to do. My attorney said, “You know, people get angry sometimes. It happens.” That made my stomach churn all the way home. I had just put down thousands of dollars in a retainer, and it was the second firm I’d interviewed. They had come recommended to me. I felt very stuck. So when I got home I sent him an email about that saying I hope he’s not excusing abuse. I got the perfunctory reply, “Oh no no, it’s never acceptable.” But the further I get down this path, the more I rue the day I hired this firm. As it relates to the topic of feminism, I can’t help wondering if a female attorney might understand and therefore better represent and advocate for a mother caring for a child alone with no financial support and being badgered into a corner, up against a wall, with accusations flying in the form of legal motions, and about to face a male judge who’s very keen on father’s “rights.”)

      • Valerie Hobbs

        Barbara, you are probably right. I’m basing my findings in what the texts themselves say, but I think that feminist is a word used like a battering ram to characterize women who don’t fit a particular Christian mold.

      • Valerie Hobbs

        Annie, I think you are spot on!

  8. Still Reforming

    Oops – I probably misused the word “patrimony” there. Mea culpa. I usually do a bing search to check definitions before hitting the “Post Comment” button, but my fingers were a bit too quick on the draw there. πŸ™‚

    • I’m guessing you meant ‘patriarchy’ rather than ‘patrimony’?

      • Still Reforming

        Indeed, Barbara. Patriarchy is the word I was seeking. Thank you. I’m unaccustomed to thinking in such terms, but it is becoming a more familiar word to me in short order

  9. Psalm 37

    Sign.me.up!! I come from a Reformed Baptist background. Forgive me for being facetious, but are you sure you want to deal with someone so depraved and unworthy? You actually want to hear a woman’s perspective?! How much shaming will be involved?

    If the answers to those questions are yes, yes, and none, I will be contacting you soon.

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Hah! I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Psalm 37, you made me laugh out loud with your facetious comment. Thanks for the uplift! πŸ™‚

  10. Barely Reformed

    Ok, after lurking a couple of years, this post is bringing me out of the woodwork.

    The best I have is second-hand knowledge of a situation, so I may not be able to contribute to her research. I would be interested in her results if she ever shares them on this blog at a later date. There is a lot I could say about views and doctrines on women (especially wives) in churches that skew toward the Federal Vision, and authors like Doug Wilson, Sproul Jr., the Bayly brothers, the CBMW, the entire Gospel Coalition, and the religious homeschooling subculture.

    I have been in the PCA for close to 15 years. Thanks to Jeff C. I recently became aware of and read their 1992 report on divorce. There were things I found encouraging, although I was disappointed by the conclusion. The authors couldn’t seem to bring themselves to agree with divorce for even physical abuse. (Other types of abuse were not even mentioned.) I guess what -was- in there is better than the permanence view, although I would like to see a new committee review this subject again. It’s like because there is no explicit verse authorizing divorce for abuse, and no consistent Reformed pastoral witness over the past 450 years or so to that effect, they thought they couldn’t go beyond separation at most.

    Anyway, I hope Dr. Valerie Hobbs would consider that report or any other official Reformed documents on this issue as she conducts her research.

    • Jeff Crippen

      BareleyRef- Thank you for reading the blog and for your comments. I suspect she would be interested in hearing from you. Those names you mention are some of the usual suspects.

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Thanks so much for coming out of the woodwork. I think you have hit on some very important points. I have just been re-reading that report you mention and coming to similar conclusions. However, I am greatly encouraged by the work of some Reformed Christian pastors (for example, Mark Garcia) who is currently researching and writing a book about how divorce was interpreted more liberally by the Westminster Divines than does the Reformed Community presently. I am anxiously awaiting his book and praying for its wide-reaching impact.
      I’d be interested in hearing more from you via e-mail if you are willing.

    • This is what we have said about the PCA report β€” the full title is Position Paper on Divorce and Remarriage (1992) β€” at our Hall of Blind Guides page:

      The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has published a position paper which states that physical abuse is grounds for divorce, but we also receive numerous reports of PCA churches dealing out injustice to victims and not following that position paper.

    • Still Reforming

      Barely Reformed,

      Sproul Jr? Do his writings or teachings reflect this? (I had one I listened to ages ago – something about the family – but I confess that I didn’t pay as much attention to him as I have the teachings of his father.) I hesitate to ask, but…. I’m thinking that his dad follows this line of thinking too? Oh, I have learned so much from RC Sproul Sr.’s writings. It pains me to think they may be off on this issue….. I am beginning to understand why so many women and others abused become wary of attending church. I confess that I tremble a bit when I say at church to anyone that I’m in the process of divorcing. I just don’t know how it’s going to be received. (Thankfully the Sunday School leader said just last week to me in our new church that he was left by his wife after 20 + years of marriage and that many of the people in my class have been in my shoes, and that it does get better. II only told the class of my circumstances because someone asked me if the man sitting near my daughter and I was my husband, and I figured I’d better explain why no one should see my husband in this church. Incidentally, I got a bit weepy telling my story, and a gentleman kindly said, “You should know that in our church just about every third or fourth man in the pew is packing heat. And on any given Sunday, your preacher is too.” πŸ™‚ Made me feel MUCH better!

      • πŸ™‚ translation of Yankee slang for non-Americans: ‘packing heat’ means carrying a concealed weapon.

      • Still Reforming

        Barbara, oops. Yeah. Heh heh. So sorry. I really should have explained that one. Mea culpa. πŸ™‚

      • SR, sad to say, R C Sproul Jr is a different kettle of fish than his father in many ways. Jr is part of what I tend to think of as the hard-patriarchy mvovement. Others on this blog will be able to inform you more of his affiliations there. However, Jr is still listed on Ligonier Ministries and his father still gives him a platform at events and on the Ligonier site. For us, that means that his father is tolerating and endorsing a son who is way off doctrinally. Why? Only God (and maybe the two RC Sprouls) know.
        Due to his position vis a vis his son, I think RC Sr is rather like the priest Eli (1 Sam 1). And we know what happened to Eli. 😦

        Both Jeff and I have in the past benefitted much from RC Sr’s teaching. So we can’t understand why he is allowing his son to remain affiliated with him.

      • Still Reforming

        Barbara, I greatly appreciate that clarification very much. It is helpful to me for a variety of reasons…

  11. Valerie,
    I hope you don’t mind but I changed the screen name on your comments to Valerie Hobbs because we have another Valerie who comments regularly on the blog and I want to avoid confusion. I hope you don’t mind using the screen name Valerie Hobbs when you comment here.

    Thanks
    twbtc
    (the woman behind the curtain)

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Absolutely – thanks for correcting that. I have just seen this and posted several other comments under the name ‘Valerie’ – I will start using Valerie Hobbs instead now!

      • Valerie

        This Valerie will also be emailing you with my ongoing desire to be reformed after my egregious Reformed experience. πŸ˜‰

  12. I’ll help spread this. Glad to see this being researched. What a shame that someone even has to research it, though.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks JA. I suspect there will be a good group of people contacting her and that should be a good boost for her research.

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Thanks, Julie Anne.

  13. rhondajeannie

    Valerie I will certainly contact you via email about how I was treated by the hierarchy of the Presbyterian Church of Australia after I made a complaint against the leadership of a local Presbyterian Church. I have written a book about my experience, it is called ‘Prised Open’.

    • Thanks RhondaJeannie
      I see your book is on Kindle. I just bought it. I have a fair bit of experience in the Presbyterian Church of Australia. I’ll be most interested to read your book. If you want to email me at barbara@notunderbondage.com I’d appreciate it. I live in Victoria, as it seems you do.

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Thanks, Rhondajeannie. I will look for your book and look forward to hearing from you.

    • Still Reforming

      rhondajeannie,

      Just reading the amazon comments about your personal account in the book reminds me of the Biblical account of the daughters of Zelophehad as told in the book of Numbers chapters 26, 27, and 36. They stood up to the male hierarchy of the day, petitioning Moses, Eleazar the priest, the chieftains, and the whole assembly, for their right to inherit property. Moses took their case to God, Who told Moses that the plea of Zelophehad’s daughters was just.

      • rhondajeannie

        Thank you ‘Still Reforming’. My story seems very similar however I think the hierarchy missed the last step. I am pretty sure they didn’t take my case to God. Four years on and I am still battling to have my ‘voice heard’.

      • Still Reforming

        rhondajeannie,

        I’m encouraged that you’re still battling on. That helps me to know. I suppose when I have my day in court perhaps my voice will be heard, although I’m not anticipating that it will be respected. What troubles me more is that I’m not speaking for myself, but my child. And even the request to have her voice heard in court via attorney ad litum has been squelched. So I am learning that there are many who don’t have a voice at all – what voices they have are silenced and the abuser is appeased.

        My attorney told me yesterday we must do all we can to settle with the abuser to get as little in the judge’s hands as possible. I cannot begin to tell you all I’ve offered to appease the aggressor already, and there’s silence from the other side. Everything my attorney says makes me feel like he’s not representing me but my abuser – and yet I march to the beat of that drum to what feels like of no avail.

        Your fighting on helps. There were hints in things my attorney said yesterday that suggested this battle won’t be over even after our day in court – things like keeping counselors on board and not using certain psychologists so they could be brought into the picture later down the road in court. As if we may not be looking at one day in court, but many. Some days I think my head will explode. And other days I think I’d already cried all the tears I had only to find out I was wrong.

  14. Valerie H, I just read your academic bio, very impressive. And I pinned your photo onto ACFJ’s Strong Women board at Pinterest πŸ™‚

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Barbara, you are very kind. Thanks for your support.

  15. Barely Reformed

    Valerie Hobbs,

    I’d never heard of Mark Garcia before, but what you said has me intrigued. I’ll be looking for his book to come out. I would love to see the PCA do something similar to the LCMS on this subject. Ideally, there would be another committee formed at a future General Assembly to study this and make recommendations. Meanwhile, all we can do is keep the heat on in social media and the blogosphere.

    I’m willing to email you as long as it remains confidential. Not too sure of the likelihood of anyone from our previous church reading this blog, but that’s one reason I’ve never commented until now.

    • Valerie Hobbs

      Thanks for this. If you contact me (maybe you already have?), I will send you an information sheet and consent form which states how confidentiality will be treated. Essentially, I will be using no names of people or of churches and will send any copies of reports, etc. to the relevant participants before any publication so that participants can make a final determination regarding the effectiveness of the confidentiality.

  16. rhondajeannie

    Dear ‘Still Reforming’ I am so saddened by what you have written. I will pray for you. Remember ‘If God is for us who can be against us’. The Presbyterian Church of Australia gave me ‘no voice’ but I have certainly found ‘a voice’ outside of the Church and if I can help one person because of what I have been through it will make it all worthwhile.

  17. Still Reforming

    Thank you, Rhondajeannie! ❀

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