Over the past several months there has been a new awareness regarding mental health. This is not a surprise to health care professionals, pastors and lay counselors. We are constantly helping people within our circle of ministry who are wrestling with mental health, suicide, and a variety of related struggles. Statistics show pastors and leaders themselves deal with depression and anxiety more than they often admit. In every context there are resources and key people you utilize to help those who are struggling.
Dealing with mental illness, like other chronic conditions, can feel overwhelming. Patients often feel as if their diagnosis defines their life, while counselors and even pastors can forget that people with mental illness still have a spiritual life. As a result, churches sometimes miss the chance to minister to those with mental illness. "Because of the way we have ignored mental illness, we are huting people," says Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research. "We've created a stigma."
We thought it would be good to connect over a lunch event to discuss the challenges in today's ministry context. Horizon Community Church in Galt will host us. Kevin Brown, Horizon Executive Pastor and Therapist will facilitate our conversation. We want to encourage you to participate and/or send key people who work in your congregation to address mental health issues. We want to hear how you are addressing the issues and what resources are most helpful. As we gather there will be shared learning and peer-to-peer resourcing that will benefit us.
We want to face the challenge, encourage one another and address the stigma of mental illness.
Rick Weber , NorCal Regional Minister
and Kevin Brown, Horizon Executive Pastor/Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Lunch provided. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 25th.