Did you know that adults living with serious mental illness die on average about 25 earlier than other Americans, largely due to preventable medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and pulmonary disease?
The magnitude of mental illness in this country is staggering. According to the Surgeon General, one in every five Americans experiences a mental disorder in any given year and half of all Americans have such disorders at some time in their lives. For us at Ghent UMC, the reality is that one in four persons sitting in our pews has a family member struggling with mental health issues.
Unfortunately, many living with mental health problems have encountered archaic and discriminatory attitudes about and feel shame about their diagnosis. As a result, they have become detached from their faith communities and their spirituality, which can be an important source of healing, wholeness and hope in times of personal darkness.
Our church community will be marking Mental Health Month throughout the month of May in a variety of ways, and we invite you to use the resources that we will offer to learn more about mental health and substance use issues and to help raise awareness and change negative attitudes in our community. Resources will include informational materials displayed at our Welcome Center, a special book display in our Library, and a book list of helpful titles that you can read to learn more about mental health issues. We will also post daily prayers on our Social Media channels in support of those living with mental health and substance use issues and their caregivers. Our May activities will culminate in Mental Health Sunday on June 3rd.
God asks us to be faithful, to love one another, to reach out to those who are broken and to seek justice for all God’s people. Please join us throughout the month of May as we seek to grow, learn, and love others as Jesus taught.
Coming May 19th: Used Book Sale
The Used Book Sale, one of GUMC's signature events, is coming Saturday, May 19th, to coincide with the Stockley Gardens Arts Festival. We also host paid parking on May 19th and 20th. No matter your age, you can volunteer in some way. Proceeds support our mission projects and church programs, such as Rise Against Hunger, Wesley Community Service Center, Vacation Bible School, Youth Group, and GUMP. Our Fall 2017 book sale and parking lot fundraisers garnered over $1000, the most ever for this event. With your help, we can surpass even this benchmark number!
Please click here to register for your volunteer slot in Book Sale & Parking Lot fundraiser.