This Sunday, we continue our worship series called, “The Outsiders.” Over the last two weeks, we’ve talked about how our church can do a better job of embracing those who are on the margins of society, first looking at people from different faith traditions and others who are outside our circle of friends, and then, last week, those in our communities who live with some sort of disability.
This week, we’ll be tackling one of the unspoken stigmas within our society: mental illness. The statistics on mental illness are startling. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that nearly 1 in 5 people in the United States experiences some sort of mental illness in a given year (that’s over 43 million people!). The report continues: “Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.”
It’s clear that, within our congregation at PVUMC, there are many of us who are dealing with the effects of mental illness, either within themselves or within someone they love. You might have some sort of personal experience with it. It’s time that we have a substantial discussion about what the role of the church in supporting individuals and families who face this invisible struggle. What does it mean to be God’s Love in Action in this unique (but altogether common) context?
I want to encourage you to join us at our 8 am, 9:30 am, or Ignite (11 am) worship service to explore this important topic. Read the insert you’ll see in Sunday’s bulletin, and if you’re looking for help or information about mental illness, visit nami arizona.
Youth and children are especially vulnerable, and Nami AZ offers a free Basics class for parents and caregivers of children who may have mental illness. Watch the video to learn more:
Grace and Peace,
Youth Ministries Director
Paradise Valley United Methodist Church