- Michael and Joan King with Ijeoma Achara- An Invitation to Hear, to Hold, and to Hope;
Tilda Norberg- Gestalt Pastoral Care: A New Approach to the Ministry of Healing;
Ted Swartz- Laughter is Sacred Space;
Pam Comer and Lonnie Yoder- It Takes a Healthy Village: 5 Things to Know about Mental Health;
John Otenasek and friends- In Our Own Voices panel
Imagining Church as Healing Space: to hear, to hold, to hope
January 21-23, 2013
Those of us seeking hope as we carry chronic effects of mental illness, suicide, and grief must be compassionately named and heard. We will explore the roles of the faith community, professional supporters, and each of us in holding and caring for such wounds in practical, candid and hope-inspiring ways.
The goal of this leadership training school is to bring voice to ways of holding faith and brokenness in tension. While there are many paths and complicated approaches to discussing mental health issues, we intentionally create this opportunity based on the following premise:
Mental illness is a biological, treatable health issue to be understood, accepted and intentionally cared for as we share our human struggles. This struggle affects our whole human nature: physically, emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually. Leaders in the church are in a unique position to effectively walk alongside individuals and families without judgment, without quick answers and without complete understanding. Illness is not the absence of all health but the nature of our humanity. Being whole and well with mental illness does not always mean the absence of illness, but can mean connecting and functioning in community.
The three plenary sessions (Monday evening, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings) and a special Tuesday evening session will include:
- hearing personal journeys from individuals or families
- responses from ministers or mental health professionals
- and artistic responses through music, drama, and visual art.
Biological causes of mental illness will be explored in another all-participant session. Workshop options will offer a broad range of specific training in such areas as compassionate listening, preaching for a funeral following a suicide, and transforming loss & grief.