Tuscaloosa-area churches focus on keeping children safe

July 27, 2022;  Tuscaloosa, AL, USA;  Representatives of several Tuscaloosa area churches are photographed at the altar in Christ Episcopal Church.  Twelve Tuscaloosa area churches are cooperating on a child safety program August 10. From left on the front are Peggy Kelly, Pam Pierson and Rev.  Lou Ann Sellers.  On the back row from left are Rev.  Paul Pradat, Pastor Antonio Thomas and Pastor Michael Foster.  Gary Cosby Jr.-The Tuscaloosa News

July 27, 2022; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Representatives of several Tuscaloosa area churches are photographed at the altar in Christ Episcopal Church. Twelve Tuscaloosa area churches are cooperating on a child safety program August 10. From left on the front are Peggy Kelly, Pam Pierson and Rev. Lou Ann Sellers. On the back row from left are Rev. Paul Pradat, Pastor Antonio Thomas and Pastor Michael Foster. Gary Cosby Jr.-The Tuscaloosa News

Pam Pierson and Jenna Johnson were having lunch one day and a thought occurred to them while discussing some problems their adult children had experienced.

They had turned to everyone but their local churches for help.

That idea was the genesis leading to the creation of a coalition of churches across denominational and racial boundaries in the Tuscaloosa area. The coalition’s goal is to help people when things go wrong.

The program they developed, “Where is God When Life Happens,” is designed to help people directly when things are not going well. The program also includes a proactive focus designed to intervene in hopes of preventing some of the bad things from happening.

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“Part of the problem Jenna and I saw was our fault and part was because churches don’t let people know that they are there for real-world problems. They are resources for real-world problems. It is OK for people to talk about real problems at church,” Pierson said.

They formed a small group in 2017, which quickly grew to encompass 12 churches. The group will host a “keep children safe” event from 5:30 pm to 7:30 Aug. 10 at St. Francis of Assisi University Parish, 404 Ninth St,.

“We were trying to find some safe ways to address the interaction between

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