Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) April 4, 2005
SistersoftheVine.com is a nondenominational online community that seeks to inform and inspire African American Christian women. Founded by Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, the website aims to bridge the gap between the emotional and physical health of African American women and their Christian faith.
Dr. Walker-Barnes is a psychologist and minister who works in private practice in Durham, North Carolina while pursuing her Master of Divinity degree at Duke University. ÂI conceived the website after reading an article in Essence by Dr. Renita Weems about the suffering of Black women in the church. Initially, it was supposed to be a companion for a research project on the emotional health of Black women in the church, a way of providing interested women with information about the project. But almost overnight, it became an entity of its own. It became clear that God was calling me to do something bigger,Â said Walker-Barnes.
Currently, African American women have higher rates of obesity, diabetes, newly acquired HIV infection, and certain forms of cancer than any other ethnic or gender group in America. These conditions are impacted by the high rates of stress, histories of childhood abuse, and domestic violence experienced by African American women. These problems may be particularly problematic for Christian women given that, as Weems notes, the church extols the self-sacrificing woman who believes that suffering brings her closer to God. Such teachings often contribute to women remaining in unhealthy relationships, unsatisfying jobs, and failing to seek treatment for medical or emotional problems.
Consequently, a major goal of SistersoftheVine.com is improving the emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being of African American Christian women by providing a community of healing guided by the principles of reconciliation, collectivism, discipleship, and affirmation. The website features a discussion board, daily devotionals, Bible study tools, spiritual gifts analysis, event calendar, and six monthly columns on physical health, mental health, relationships, spiritual disciplines, faith, and women in ministry.
SistersoftheVine.com represents one of few internet resources for African American Christians and the first online ministry explicitly targeting the needs of African American Christian women. Since its launch in March, the website has logged over eight hundred visitors.