Over the past two years, the Stewardship Committee has sponsored occasional small group discussions. During three Sundays in October and November, we’re having another such small group discussion, on a topic that could hardly be more timely.
It’s about “Mental Health in Our Community and Our Church”. It’s an opportunity to explore the pressing issue of mental health as it relates to our country, our state, our community, our families – and our church.
The small group discussion will be conducted by Reverend Judy Hall, a pastoral counselor and a true professional with decades of experience in counseling, and a deep understanding of the challenge of mental illness.
We will be discussing the entire range of mental health issues – chemical dependence, addiction, behavioral issues, and severe mental illness.
But we want this to be more than a general discussion; we want it to focus on our own congregation, posing the question of whether we can – and should – do more as a congregation to help people and their families struggling with mental illness.
Our first session, on October 20, in room 301 at 9:45 a.m., will discuss the overall state of mental health in our country and our community. The particular emphasis will be on prevention of mental illness, and the isolation and stigma that sometimes accompanies it.
The second session, on October 27, at the same time and place – 9:45 a.m. in room 305 – will discuss the particular challenges that dealing with mental illness presents to our families and our church community.
And on November 3, we’ll explore what more we can do as a congregation to address mental health issues. Do we need a support group? A reading and discussion group? A specific focus on the challenges facing our children? What are we doing right – and what can we improve?
To make this small group discussion even more relevant, we have a request: if you, or a member of your family, has had a mental health issue, would you be willing to talk about it? About the things that family, friends and fellow church members did – or did not – do that helped or hindered?
We would really value hearing about how we can be more supportive, more sensitive, and more discerning as we, together, face this important issue.
If you would be willing to share your thoughts in the small group, please talk to Judy Hall, or send an email to her at JHall63795@cox.net. You’ll also find her email address in the bulletin.
And please consider joining in this important and timely discussion.