I’ve been really heartened by the response to my two part message series on the Church and Mental Health. Over a dozen people approached me in the weeks since to share their interest and experiences. People have offered counseling services, offered to share their story in church, network in the community for resources, and much more. It’s exciting that we’ve found a ministry that can meet a pressing need in our community.
After Easter I’ll be calling together this group to work on our first project--a Community Resource Sheet for mental illness. We’ll also brainstorm other ways we can help the mentally ill and their families. My goal is that we’ll be known as the church who cares about the mentally ill, accepts their struggles and welcomes them, just as we welcome people with physical illness. We can be part of the solution to the problem of stigma.
A second ministry opportunity will be starting soon: A hands-on homeless ministry. So often we keep homeless people at a distance. Though we help them in various ways--providing food, shelter, and clothing--we don’t actually interact with them.
Street Pastor Mike Henry will be coming to Suamico UMC on April 3 to preach about homelessness and the church’s response. Pastor Mike is an experienced street pastor with over two decades of experiences starting and running face-to-face homeless ministries. If you’re interested in a hands-on experience, be sure to come to church on April 3 for Pastor Mike’s message. He will be available between and after services to answer questions, and to begin planning a ministry experience this summer.
I look forward to working with you on these new ministries. Christ is working among to transform our community as disciples of Jesus Christ. And that’s exciting.
See you in church,