Once again, as is a long standing tradition for the Harrisonburg Branch members, we gathered at the lovely home of Jan and Tom Leach to enjoy good friendship, delectable tid bits, caroling and a provocative and instructive program. Our speaker was Dr. Emily Peck-McClain, Professor of Theology at the EMU Seminary. Dr. Peck-McClain was the recipient of an AAUW scholarship while she was completing her dissertation on “Agency in Adolescent Girls” at the Duke University School of Divinity.
She talked with us about the insights she gained, as a Methodist minister at 3 churches in New York City, about the difficulties of young women growing up in an atmosphere of shame and blame in the modern era. Without strong church and community support to help guide them through periods of self doubt, self harm, even suicidal impulses, these young women are often permanently scarred emotionally, physically, and psychologically. As a result of her studies of these problems, she advocates a more compassionate approach within her church-based community to help affirm and heal adolescent girls who are then enabled to act through their own self-agency with confidence and courage.
Enjoy the pictures of the “groaning” board that drew compliments and requests for recipe exchanges from those who came.