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Mental Health Ministry

Recently the mental health team began a reflective conversation about what additional things we, as a faith community, might offer to others, especially with the limitations we currently face. As a faith community, Sun Prairie United Methodist Church (SPUMC) has responded to the isolation of this time by doing things such as providing food, shopping for others, etc. But we ask ourselves, “Are we missing something?” This is a complex question because we have always focused on the immediate and seemingly practical offerings for those in need.  /more

It is not always easy, but we are made to live together in fellowship – to help one another, to bear each other’s burdens and to encourage those around us to keep going. In fact, we have some very specific directions about what this looks like.

 

 

Caregiving generally often creeps up on us. We start by dropping by our mom’s house and doing her laundry or taking our dad to a doctor’s appointment. We might find ourselves doing the grocery shopping and refilling prescriptions. Gradually, we are doing more and more. At some point, we realize we have made a commitment to take care of someone else.

Sometimes, caregiving is triggered by a major health event, such as a stroke, heart attack, accident or even a PANDEMIC. Life as we know it stops and all our energy goes to caring for our loved one(s). Caregiving has become our new career and we adjust to a new normal.

But caregivers play other roles as well. We may also be employed full or part-time. We may be raising children, or be a volunteer, a spouse, have other family and community commitments. And now, during COVID19 we are expected to become technology, math, science, geography, history, and language arts specialists for our children. These added expectations can easily lead to frustration and exhaustion. We are rarely trained to do the broad range of tasks we are asked to do as caregivers generally and certainly now.

The Sun Prairie United Methodist Church (SPUMC) mental health team continues a reflective conversation about what additional things we, as a faith community, might offer to all, especially with the limitations we currently face.  You may be aware that as a faith community, SPUMC has responded to the isolation of this time by doing things such as providing food, shopping for others, etc.  But we ask ourselves, “Are we missing something?”  This is a complex question because we have always focused on the immediate and seemingly practical offerings for those in need.

We know that for now, building and maintaining community continues to be a challenge.  We know that many of our friends, colleagues, neighbors, and others we don’t know yet are living in emotional isolation that is exacerbated by the current “Safer at Home” policy.

As an immediate response to this isolation, and using available technology SPUMC launched “In the room on Zoom” specifically to offer an opportunity for connecting, sharing how we are taking care of ourselves, how we can build or enhance our current connections, etc.  This initial effort has become quite popular and the team is reevaluating this response to find additional ways to expand this effort.

 However, we are very aware that there exists a whole population of caregivers who are not able to attend the “In the room with Zoom” sessions but could use a really good listener or a thoughtful comment or tear-bringing laugh in that out of this world moment of  when one kid is hysterical because they can’t find the charger for their IPAD, another is angry because they can’t go to the pool with friends, and yet another thinks that we are stupid because we cannot help them arrive at the correct answer to why 19-1=20.   Oh, and your team just moved up the deadline for reviewing an important proposal for a large grant, just when you absolutely promised that there would be no left-over pizza yet again tonight for dinner.  Any and all of these examples are currently someone’s life…maybe yours.

In these times, honing our resilience is vital to our survival and our ability to thrive. Thus, SPUMC is inviting all interested resilience-builders and want-to-be builders to join us on FACEBOOK to be part of a private new group called “Building Resilience during COVID19 with SPUMC”.  This is our opportunity to revisit what we know, learn some new behaviors and tricks, and share our own techniques, secrets, and jokes for getting through these times. 

One thing we already know is that we are all in this together and we have much to offer each other, at the point where we really need it.

Watch for information coming soon on how to get connected with this new Facebook group!

 

Matthew 25:37-39 37  “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

Because many Biblical scholars believe that much of the New Testament was originally written in Greek, so I thought that would take a minute to discuss “prison” in the Greek context.

prison
φυλακῇ (phylakē)
Noun – Dative Feminine Singular
Strong’s Greek 5438: From phulasso; a guarding or, the act, the person; figuratively, the place, the condition, or, the time, literally or figuratively.

Upon reflection, this passage is very much about making and keeping connection, about being in relationship. So, as a faith community, many of us have been asking: What relational needs might we meet?

We know that building and maintaining community is a current challenge. We know that many of our friends, colleagues, neighbors, and others we don’t know yet are living in emotional isolation that is exacerbated by the current “Safer at Home” policy.

As a response to this isolation, and using available technology SPUMC will launch “In the room on Zoom” specifically to offer an opportunity for connecting, sharing how we are taking care of ourselves, how we can build or enhance our current connections, etc.

“In the room on ZOOM” has a Thursday evening discussion group which meets at 7 pm and a Sunday morning discussion group which meets at 9 am.

For more information or to be connected, please contact Deb Mulhern @ dmulhern@sunprairieumc.org.