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Why Every Pastor Needs 5 Copies of ‘Blessed Union’ on Their Shelf

Why Every Pastor Needs 5 Copies of ‘Blessed Union’ on Their Shelf

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:

  • You don’t need to come up with all the right words to say to bring comfort. Let Blessed Union help. Here you will find comforting words from the scriptures to help guide couples along their way in the mental health journey from despair to hope.
  • When faced with the heartbreaking stories of a couple’s marriage that is falling apart because of the impact of mental illness, some days it’s hard to know how to pray. Let Blessed Union help. Here you will find prayers for couples who are living with mental health challenges.
  • Some days it’s hard to know where to look for quality mental health resources. Let Blessed Union help. Here you will find vetted, mental health resources that are easy to access and will be a practical way to help couples who are looking for where to go for help and what to do next.
  • One thing we want to know when we are facing mental health challenges is that we are not alone. Let Blessed Union help. This book helps couples know they are not alone and provides a sense of community through the sharing of stories and inviting couples to open themselves up to creating circles of support for their marriage to help them thrive and grow in love.
  • This is what we know for sure: mental health challenges and mental illness will continue to live with us, and (as current research shows) mental health challenges will only increase, not decrease. It’s highly likely that every couple, at some point in their partnership, will need to navigate this conversation and need support in order to break the silence about mental illness in their marriage. Let Blessed Union help. This book offers much needed support, companionship, resources, and most of all hope in the face of growing mental health challenges.

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.

Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash

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