Mental Health First Aid
The Rev. Amanda Ullrich and the community of Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Levelland, TX, in July of 2017, lost their beloved brother Zane Timmons to suicide at the age of 16. The impact of this loss moved the church community to intentionally engage their neighbors by being a public witness for the need of mental health and suicide awareness conversation. ELCA Disability Ministry put out a request for grant proposals in the fall of 2018 to award grants using $250,000 raised as a part of the ELCA Campaign. Saint Paul Lutheran applied for these funds to support mental health awareness in the community and was approved in September of 2019. These funds were received by churchwide from church offerings with gratitude and thanks. ELCA Churchwide distributes these funds for the benefit of the entire body of Christ. This is the mission of the ELCA: God’s work. Our hands.
With the grant received, in addition to piloting other mental health programs, Saint Paul Lutheran has already helped 20 teachers and staff in Levelland schools attend Mental Health First Aid in their area. Saint Paul Lutheran has partnered with the NTNL Synod Public Witness Team for Peace and Justice to provide Mental Health First Aid and Suicide Awareness courses to anyone in the Synod remotely. Mental health is an important part of all of our lives and is especially important amidst the stress of Covid-19.
Two FREE Mental Health First Aid online training courses offered by Star Care will take place Friday, October 9, 11:30am – 5pm (adult-focused course) and Monday, October 12, 12:30pm – 5pm (tailored for individuals who work with youth). Both courses are designed for participants 18 years or older. The course requires two hours of preparation before the class and 4.5 – 5.5 hours participation online. The course gives background on mental health for your own use as well as those in your life. Upon completion, you receive a certification in mental health first aid. Like taking a first aid and CPR class, taking a mental health first aid class can help save lives. This course is an also option for continuing education for NTNL leaders.
Space is limited to 20 participants for each course. Email Pastor Amanda Ullrich at email@example.com by TOMORROW, September 30, to register to attend either or both courses. Pastor Amanda can also be reached at 512-636-9784 with any questions.
If you or someone you love is experiencing suicidal ideation or has questions about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.
Gather in Thankfulness Worship Service
Mission Endowment Fund
GATHER IN THANKFULNESS – 2020 SEEDS THAT CHANGE
Seeds that Change: “… only God makes it grow.” I Cor. 3:7
An Online Worship Event premiering on Saturday, October 17, at 10:00am on the NT-NL Facebook page
The worship service will be available after that for watching at your convenience, as well as on the NT-NL YouTube and Vimeo pages.
Access a flyer with details here.
ELCA Social Message on Government and Civic Engagement
The ELCA Church Council has unanimously adopted a new social message: “Government and Civic Engagement in the United States: Discipleship in a Democracy.” This project was called for at the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, with an intention that it be ready to read before the national election this fall. The social message defines government as a gift from God that can also be abused and misused. It also delves into how we can view civic engagement as Lutherans.
To help dig into the text, there is a Study Guide, along with a Leader’s Guide for those facilitating groups. A Spanish translation can be downloaded here.
Featured Resources for September
Nearly 3,000 people on average commit suicide daily, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For every person who completes a suicide, 20 or more may attempt to end their lives. About one million people die by suicide each year. There is strong evidence indicating that adequate prevention can reduce suicide rates.
September is National Suicide Prevention (Awareness) Month.
National Suicide Prevention Week is the Monday through Sunday surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day, this year September 6-12.
World Suicide Prevention Day, which first started in 2003, is annually held on September 10 as an International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) initiative.
From the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life. Use #SuicidePrevention or #StigmaFree on social media.
#BeThe1To is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month and beyond, which helps spread the word about actions we can all take to prevent suicide. The Lifeline network and its partners are working to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention, to actions that can promote healing, help and give hope.
The Jason Foundation has a set of resources around the theme of #IWONTBESILENT.
More resources can be found on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention‘s website.
Save the Date
Custodians of the Gospel: A Public Faith*
Rev. George Mason
(Producer and Host of Good God podcast, and Pastor at Wilshire Baptist, Dallas)
TOMORROW, Wednesday, September 30, 1pm
Does everything feel partisan now? Why are many church folk either disengaged from politics or not wanting it talked about in faith communities? Then when it is discussed, why do we believe there are only two, and always opposing, sides? How does fear shape our responses to the world we believe we are called to love and serve as followers of Jesus? We claim to be Christians. We are custodians of the Gospel. The church needs to do some reckoning. We are called to bear witness to a God of justice and compassion. What if our righteousness was rooted in justice in community? Come wrestle with all this with our presenter this week and move from this gathering back out into the world with a groundedness in the Gospel.
*As part of the BEING CHURCH series of weekly online gatherings for ELCA leaders (rostered and lay across the church) hosted by ELCA Coaching.
Where in the world is?
The bishop and staff have resumed limited in-person travel for special events or to tape or livestream worship. The staff will wear masks for all services and anytime they are near people, either inside or outside a facility. All synod business will continue to be conducted online.
- Oct. 1-2: Conference of Bishops, Online
- Oct 4: Ordination of Joel Hicks, St. Stephen, Shreveport, LA
- Sep. 29: Tri-Synodical First Call Pastors Retreat, Zoom)
- Oct. 1: Interim Pastors Meeting, Zoom)
- Oct. 4: Worship at Four Mile, Mabank
- Oct 4: Ordination of Joel Hicks, St. Stephen, Shreveport, LA
- (No visits planned this week)
With the ever-changing guidelines and recommendations in our world right now, as we maintain physical distance in social solidarity, please keep in mind these events may be moved online, postponed, or cancelled:
- Sep. 30: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Custodians of the Gospel: A Public Faith with Rev. George Mason, Zoom
- Oct. 1: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Oct. 1: Interim Pastors monthly meeting, Zoom
- Oct. 3: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 10 (Día 1 de 5), Zoom
- Oct. 7: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – The Sacred Work of Grief, Part 2: TBA with Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin, Zoom
- Oct. 8: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Oct. 10: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 10 (Día 2 de 5), Zoom
- Oct. 10: Public Witness Team meeting, Zoom
- Oct. 14: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Preaching in a Polarized Space with Rev. Bridget Jones, Zoom
- Oct. 15: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Oct. 17: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 10 (Día 3 de 5), Zoom
- Oct. 17: PLMA, Fall 2020, Course 2, Zoom
- Oct. 17: Mission Endowment Fund (MEF) Campaign and Worship Service, Online
- Oct. 19-20: 2020 Leadership Convocation, Zoom
- Oct. 21: Weekly Online Gathering for ELCA Leaders – Growing Young: Be the Best Neighbor with Rachel Alley and others, Zoom
- Oct. 22: Weekly NT-NL Leadership Prayer, Check-in, Zoom
- Oct. 24: ESET (SSTE) Módulo 10 (Día 4 de 5), Zoom
- Oct. 24: Living Connected: Creation’s Gift of Material Goods, Online
- Oct. 24: LCM Denton Presents: Social Distant Oktoberfest, Online
- Oct. 27: Living Connected: Creation’s Gift of Material Goods, Online
Access our full online Calendar here. Updates made regularly.
Do you have news or announcements to share? Please submit to Jason (firstname.lastname@example.org) for consideration for upcoming NT-NL News.