A short time before Christmas, Belinda Bauman (founder of One Million Thumbprints) and Lynne Hybels (advocate for global engagement and wife of Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church) began to contact some of the “elder women” (including Dr. Jo Anne Lyon) in the evangelical circles and shared something that was heavy on their hearts: violence against women and girls.

It soon went live when Christianity Today, RELEVANT Magazine, Religion News Service, and the New York Times all published stories calling the community of faith to break the silence on violence against women and girls. They all see this time in our current culture as an opportune time to lead with positive change, beginning in the Church and with the Church. Every person is created in God’s image. Violence against women and girls is violence against God. With this in mind, we are compelled to action.

According to the #SilenceIsNotSpiritual website, “More than 150 leaders from across the world are calling upon the global faith community to stop standing by and start standing up for women and girls who experience violence. Thousands responded within hours of launching #SilenceIsNotSpiritual.”

The global church is now speaking up.

This call is focused on the time between Christmas and Easter, symbolic of God’s incarnation among the suffering and his victory over sin. It is a call to sign an online petition to create a momentum of support. What started with a few has already reached over 5,000 signatures. It is also a call to local churches to break the silence and make space for women to break their silence in our congregations and communities and for the church to actively stand with these women.

Let’s help lead the way as The Wesleyan Church and be people of action and make a difference today. As we faithfully bring the healing and powerful love of the incarnate Jesus to our churches and communities, we will see great fruit in the form of transformed lives.