The Churches Unite initiative is an innovative collective of nine Pacific Churches that collaborate to provide dedicated programmes focused on family violence prevention and intervention.
The purpose is to
- Develop Church collaborations as communities of faith
- Provide quality response to vulnerable families who are vulnerable and most in need of support, information and quality services
- Engage and support families experiencing family violence
- Promote strengths-based initiatives
The Churches Unite approach utilises a range of activities to engage and support families, including interactive workshops, use of music and short video clips for the promotion of strengths-based messaging, developing individualised family action plans and referrals to other services.
Each participating Church developed their own plan of action (e.g. pastoral care, counselling, prayer support, family mentorship). The Epicentre Church in Wellington coordinated the initiative. Churches Unite have developed a position paper that outlines the theological underpinnings for their approach.
Mentors of the programme were identified to support families both in the Church and wider community. Role models were identified within the programme, demonstrating violence-free leadership. Families were nurtured by a strong faith to seek and trust God to heal and restore family from the impact of violence.
The Churches Unite Collective-Churches approach utilises a nominated Church within the collective – Epicentre, to administer and manage the overall project.