by Rev. Sarah Griffith Lund
As more people break the silence about mental illness, the shame and stigma of living with a mental health challenge is slowly fading away. The good news is that more and more people are talking about how depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and other common mental health challenges are not only part of our daily lives, but also part of our married lives. The bad news is, especially during this time of ongoing global pandemic, racial unrest, and national political chaos, more and more people are struggling with mental health challenges. During times of suffering, pain, and crisis, people turn to the church for support, and more specifically, to the pastor for guidance, wisdom, prayer, and practical help.
We know that mental Illness impacts more than just the person with the symptoms, it impacts the whole family system, especially our partners. Here is why I wrote Blessed Union: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness and Marriage: because many of us after the wedding day don’t live “happily ever after” when mental illness tries to steal our joy. The good news is that marriages impacted by mental health challenges can be happy with extra support, resources, understanding, and unconditional love.
Here are 5 Reasons why every pastor needs 5 copies of Blessed Union on their shelf:
Pastors need more than one copy of Blessed Union on their book shelf because the first one is for the pastor (to highlight, underline, dog-ear, and perhaps spill coffee on). The other copies won’t be there for long, because they will be given away as tangible expressions of practical pastoral care and love. And one more reason why pastors need 5 copies on their shelf, with pages in the back for in-depth journaling with thought-provoking writing prompts, don’t expect the books to come back. In fact, pastors will probably need to order more.
Order your copies of Blessed Union here.
Sarah Griffith Lund is passionate about loving her family, God, and being part of faith communities. She is an ordained minister and has served as pastor to churches in Brooklyn, NY, Minneapolis, MN, and New Smyrna Beach, FL. Rev. Dr. Lund served as Regional Minister in the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ and as a Vice President for Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN. She holds degrees from Trinity University (BA), Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv), Rutgers University (MSW), and McCormick Theological Seminary (DMin).
Rev. Dr. Lund received the Dell Award for Mental Health Education at the 30th General Synod of the UCC. She currently serves as Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice on the national staff of the UCC and as senior pastor of First Congregational UCC of Indianapolis, IN. Rev. Dr. Lund blogs at www.sarahgriffithlund.com.