Hilltown Voices: Interfaith vigil on domestic violence coming to Hilltowns

For the Gazette
Friday, April 28, 2017

An interfaith candlelight vigil on domestic violence is scheduled for Thursday in Huntington.

As well as shining a light on the issue of domestic violence in general, the event is also designed to bring attention to the role of faith communities in addressing and ending domestic violence.

According to the organizers, research shows that during a traumatic event, people are five times more likely to seek the aid of clergy than any other profession.

It is therefore important for faith-based organizations to be aware of the scope of the problem and the ways in which they can effectively assist individuals in domestic violence situations.

Organized by the Southern Hilltown Domestic Violence Task Force, together with First Congregational Church in Huntington, the West Cummington Congregational Church event planners say that it is part of their mission to make it clear that the Hilltown faith communities support and stand ready to help anyone who faces abuse or violence.

The vigil will also honor all those who have been impacted by domestic violence

In 2012, Jessica Dana from Huntington was murdered by her partner, and last year, advocates from Hilltown Safety at Home worked with 78 victims and survivors of domestic violence.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. An informal gathering in Stanton Hall, which is next to the Town Greens, will follow.

All those from the Hilltowns and surrounding communities are invited.

For more information contact Pastor Carol Smith, First Congregational Church, Huntington, at 860-798-7771; Pastor Stephen Philbrick, West Cummington Congregational Church at 634-2100; or Monica Moran, Southern Hilltown Domestic Violence Task Force Coordinator at 230-6938.

Sen. Hinds visits Hilltowns

State Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, will be in Goshen next Friday as part of his “Speak Up Western Mass” public forum and community office hours.

This event was scheduled after Hinds received an invitation from members of the Goshen Select Board to visit the community and meet with town residents.

The community forum will take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Goshen Town Hall, 42 Main St.

The senator’s staff will be available to meet with constituents in Plainfield on Wednesday, May 10, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Plainfield town offices, 304 Main St.

Art and mortality

The Goshen Historical Society this Sunday will offer “Art in the Face of Mortality: A Sampling of Gravestone Art in the Connecticut River Valley,” by Al and Betsy McKee.

The pair will discuss various gravestone traditions, carvers and motifs found in the Connecticut River Valley and in some eastern portions of the state.

The program will held be at Goshen Town Hall. The program will begin at 2 p.m., and doors will open at 1:40 p.m.

For more information, contact Kristen at 268-7120 or goshenhistoricalsociety@gmail.com.

Birds of Prey

Wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi of the Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Conway will be at the Chesterfield Community Center on Sunday for a presentation on birds of prey that will include a selection of birds under his care.

Ricardi will discuss the physical behaviors, lifestyle and ecology of some of these magnificent raptors and audience members will have an opportunity to see some of these birds demonstrate their skills.

The presentation begins at 2 p.m. and is free and open to the public, though donations are welcomed.

The Chesterfield Community Center is located at 400 Main Road.

This program is funded in part by a multigenerational grant from Highland Valley Elder Services to the Chesterfield and Westhampton Councils on Aging, Chesterfield Public Library, Westhampton and Chesterfield Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Programs, Davenport Childcare and the New Hingham Parent-Teacher Organization.

Casual acoustic concert

Join traveling musician Norma Jean Haynes for a joyful evening of both new and old contemporary and folk music on Saturday in Goshen.

Hayes will play songs that she has written and gathered from around the world, and will be joined by guests artists Mary Lauren Fraser on fiddle, and Chris Haynes on accordion.

The event will be held at the Prakasa Yoga Studio at 152 Ball Road.

Admission is on a $10 to $20 sliding scale.

Ideas for this column on life in the Hilltowns can be sent to Fran Ryan at fryan.gazette@gmail.com.