Update on recent activity-Depression and the Church Conference
Thank you for your interest. I am back with news of good things happening with the Church’s integration of mental health issues.
Here is the recent conference on depression I worked on from October 2018. It was sponsored by Friends Church Yorba LInda, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association’s Psychiatry Section.
Here is the conference announcement introducing the day:
Lighting the Darkness – Depression and the Church
Friends Church, Yorba Linda, CA
Depression and/or sadness has become an epidemic in our society affecting large segments of our population, including adults, children and adolescents. It is often a medical condition treatable through a combination of support systems, counseling and medicine. Unfortunately, in the Christian community, it is often viewed as a spiritual issue (not having enough faith, or not having the balance in our Christian life that God intended). In fact, feelings of depression and/or sadness do not mean we are doing something “wrong” in the Christian life. Because the world is not as it should be, due to the fall, a certain degree of sadness will always mark the Christian life. We read in Scripture about Christ weeping and being sad. It is a normal part of the Christian experience. In addition, because our bodies are not as they should be, the various parts of our bodies – including our mind – can be affected in ways that have nothing to do with us doing things “wrong”. Christ in John 10:10 says “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” This would include both mental and physical healing and the use of medical resources where appropriate.
This conference brings together local Church leaders, distinguished psychiatrists and mental health professionals of the Christian faith, to provide education, spiritual direction and reduce the stigma surrounding those who suffer or support those suffering from the destructive illness of depression. Friends Church, Yorba Linda, represents the Friends denomination with a legacy of faith in Christ and social action, including a legacy of advocacy for healing and reducing the stigma of mental illness. The Christian Medical and Dental Association is a nationwide organization of over 19,000 Christian health care professionals, that provides resources, networking opportunities, education and a public voice for Christian healthcare students and professionals. The Psychiatry Section of CMDA is comprised of psychiatrists with Christian faith who strive to promote fellowship and provide community to support and encourage Christian physicians in the practice of psychiatry, as they explore the relationship between their faith and professional practice. They also promote within the church the knowledge and understanding of valid psychiatric approaches to mental health and healing, consistent with Christ’s redemptive love.
Here is the link to view the conference. Many were blessed and found it helpful.