Understanding Mental Health

Lent, 2020

Our church will seek to break the silence and stigma around mental illness with a Lenten series entitled Head and Heart: Understanding Mental Health

  The need is clear: Half of all adults in the United States will develop mental illness in their lifetime. Every year, nearly 42.5 million American adults — that is one in five of all Americans — suffer from some form of mental illness, everything from depression to bipolar disorder to schizophrenia. In our community alone, more than 60,000 people live with some form of mental illness.

Yet despite those alarming numbers, mental illness remains misunderstood. We don’t understand it, we do fear those who suffer from it and, as a society, we don’t talk about it.

Sunday Mornings


Adult Education at 10:00 a.m., North Chapel, Facilitator: Tony Kupinski

    • Anxiety and Fear
    • When God Is Silent
    • God’s Comfort
    • Pessimism and Cynicism
    • Depression and Despair

Sermon Series

March 1 – Lent I

Praying through Addiction

March 8 – Lent II

Praying through Anxiety

March 15 – Lent III  

Praying Through Anger

March 22 – Lent IV

Praying for someone with mental illness

March 29 – Lent V

        Praying through Depression

Speaker Series, Special Programs

Sunday Evenings 6:00 -8:00 p.m. in the Lounge

These programs starting  Sunday, March 1 are meant to spark conversation in our faith community around the challenges and issues surrounding good mental health. The programs will offer information on common mental diagnoses, and how the church can foster better mental health. One evening will explore practices that can promote better mental health. and a chance to hear personal stories.

Here’s the schedule. For more on any aspect of this initiative, reach Rev. Dr. Shelly Wood at shellywood@orchardpark.org.

  • March 1st - Cup Of Calm

    Life gets crazy trying to manage all the things we are responsible for. Sometimes we just need to get a "cup of calm" and take care of ourselves. Lets talk about what prevents us from caring for ourselves, how we can do better and what we do to take care of ourselves. Feel free to participate as much as you want or you can just listen and gain support. All are welcome.

  • March 8 - Mental Health: Beginning The Conversation with Dr. Wood and Kristie Watts of  Orah Counseling.

    Mental illness is far more prevalent than many realize. With one in four adults struggling with mental illness each year, there's no doubt that there are people in our churches who desperately need love and support. Unfortunately, the church hasn't always done a great job of ministering to those affected by mental illness—either their own or a loved one's illness. But it doesn't have to be that way. This session explores mental illness and what the church can do to help. It also helps clear up common myths and begins to put the stigma of mental illness in the past.

  • MArch 15 - NAMI In Our Own Voice

    NAMI In Our Own Voice is an interactivepresentation that provides insight into what it’s like to live with mentalillness. Thepresentation is led by two adults living with mental health conditions andincludes video and discussion. Audiences are given a safe place to askquestions and gain understanding of an often misunderstood topic. Throughdialogue, we help grow the movement to build better lives. 

  • March 22 - Suicide Prevention with Kristie Watts of Orah Counseling

    Childcare reservations contact Trish Lisa at trishlisa@orchardpark.org

  • March 29 - “The Cross and Mental Health”

    “The Cross and Mental Health” with Dr. Matthias Beier, Professor and Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis.

    The Cross can be used to heal or harm, to induce guilt or redeem, to depress or to counter depression. We will explore how to understand the Cross in ways that further mental, social and spiritual health by working through a violent God image.

    Dr. Beier offers a talk and engages us in an interactive discussion on this crucial topic. Dr. Beier is the author of internationally acclaimed books, serves in leadership on state and national levels within the professional mental health community, and serves in ministry within the United Methodist Church.

  • Weekly

    “Wednesday Morning Bible Study” - Every Wednesday from 10am-11:30am during Lent, we will dive into our weekly mental health topic and Sunday’s Bible passages. All are welcome as we gather around God’s Word for wisdom and guidance on these important topics, usually with fresh-baked treats and coffee! Led by Rev. Mike Samson in the Lounge.

    “Rooted Parents” - Rev. Mike Samson will lead parents in discussions connected to the weekly topic within our mental health series. We’ll eat dinner as a family (including children!) from 5:30pm-6pm. Discussions will take place from 6-7pm in the Lounge on those Wednesdays when parents and children are engaged in different activities after dinner, Join us as we connect these themes to our lives as parents and people of God.

  • Children

    We will acknowledge and discuss the wide range of emotions we feel and talk about healthy ways to express our feelings. To practice expression, we will use journaling, art, music, storytelling and movement. We will approach these issues on Wednesdays in Rooted and Sundays in Seeds (during the worship service). Family Lenten devotionals will also be available on Main Street starting on Sunday, February 23rd.

  • Youth

    On Wednesday nights in Lent, Jr. High will be doing some short exercises on Mental Illness, Mental Health and Faith.

    On Wednesday nights in Lent, Sr. High will be exploring the definition and types of mental illness, watching and discussing the movie “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” exploring the ways we love our neighbors with mental illnesses and how we love ourselves by caring for our own faith and mental health.

Upcoming Events

Hang tight while we look up scheduled events...