Dear Members and Friends,
I am looking forward to sharing my sermon, Begged to Leave, with you all this Sunday. I am borrowing my title from Hannah Garrity’s beautiful artwork (pictured below) for this Sunday’s Gospel reading, Mark 5: 1-20. Her artwork comes from our sermon series, Unraveled: Seeking God When Our Plans Fall Apart.
Sunday Worship Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/150620342
This week, we will read the story of a man dealing with mental illness, or demon possession as our gospel writer would term it. In the midst of a pandemic, there is a great need for churches to talk about mental health and work to remove the stigma of mental illness. If the Coronavirus epidemic is affecting the mental health of you or someone you know, I encourage you to visit covidmentalhealthsupport.org.
Although I have personally benefited immensely from both pastoral care and professional counseling and talk therapy, I am by no means an expert on mental health. That’s why I’ll be drawing heavily from the writing and research of others during my sermon on Sunday. To give voice to their stories, I’ll be sharing moments of both their struggles and successes. Here are a few of those books that have helped shaped my writing this week and which I commend to your reading:
- Christ on the Psych Ward by David Finnegan-Hosey
- Grace is a Preexisting Condition by David Finnegan-Hosey
- The Lifesaving Church by Rachael Keefe
- Blessed Are the Crazy by Sarah Griffith Lund
On Sunday, I’ll also be encouraging you to take care of yourself; this week, that may mean taking a break during the sermon or caring for yourself in other ways. For parents, this might also mean deciding if this is a helpful conversation for your children at this time and/or preparing for conversations with your children about mental health after Sunday worship.
As always, Pastor Heather and I are here to talk with you at any time about how it is with your soul and to make appropriate referrals and suggestions for support.