Many people facing mental health problems seek help in communities of faith. They are searching for sanctuary. Their searches end far too often in misunderstanding, judgment and shame.
COVID distress can cause the following:
- Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones.
- Fear for your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
- Worsening of chronic health problems.
- Worsening of mental health conditions.
- Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.
In most churches, congregations are well intentioned, not well informed. Congregational support can be more hurtful than helpful to those seeking safety in a faith community. Prayer, reading the Bible, or singing worship songs may be personally helpful, however such practices are not helpful for everyone facing mental wellness challenges.
Anxiety can’t solely be prayed away and depression can’t be relieved just by trying harder to think good thoughts. Similar spiritual solutions, though well intended, do more harm than good because depression is the only physical illness with spiritual symptoms.
That’s why I host the Sanctuary Course.
Caring for mental health and well being is an important part of what it means to participate in God’s loving work. Love is helping one another recognize God’s presence in the experience of mental health challenges.
Responding to this call requires profound compassion, hope, education and equipping.
Sanctuary resources prepare communities of faith to raise awareness, reduce stigma, support mental health, and promote mental well being.
We seek to understand, care for, and honor others in all of our communications and relationships. This commitment reflects our recognition of the inherent value and dignity of every person made in the image of God.
We desire to share the hope of the gospel in all that we do and with all whom we meet. This commitment reflects our belief that hope and mental well being are deeply connected.
We aim to encourage and strengthen communities through sharing stories and knowledge. This commitment reflects our belief that healthy communities are vital in supporting and promoting mental health and well being.
We strive to meet the highest standards in our research, resource development, and training services.
We seek to be authentic in our words and actions, and trustworthy in our work and relationships.
You Are Invited
This is your invitation to join me and Al and Yvonne Downey as we host The Sanctuary course for Life Church, Edmonton. The course is for anyone, anywhere, wanting to learn about faith and mental health. It requires no previous training or expertise—just a willingness to engage in dialogue with other believers.
This class will be on Zoom. Tuesdays at 6:30pm for 8 weeks starting October 13th. The Sanctuary Course is free. Registration is required. Click HERE to register.
Hope grows here. You’ll find stories that inspire, build faith, and offer lasting purpose.
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