My name is Donna Miller. I was recently hired to coordinate the follow-up from an action of the 223rd General Assembly (2018) and have been invited to share a few brief comments about exciting opportunities that are unfolding in the area of mental health ministries.
I am especially excited about a newly established $250,000 Mental Health Ministry Grant Program, which is now receiving applications. This grant program was launched on Aug. 3 at a sold-out Mental Health Matters breakfast sponsored by Compassion, Peace & Justice during Big Tent. Congregations, mid councils and seminaries are invited to think creatively about the mental health needs in their midst and apply. The purpose of the funds is to initiate or advance ministries that educate, empower and equip churches to reach out to, and with, people who live with mental health conditions and their loved ones:
- To expand mental health awareness, understanding of mental health issues and advocacy for mental health services
- To reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness, especially serious mental illnesses
- To become more welcoming and supportive faith communities for people facing mental health challenges.
Grant applications will be reviewed quarterly. Sept. 15 is the deadline for receiving completed applications to be reviewed in the first cycle. The next deadline will be Dec. 9.
Grant application materials are available at our new mental health web pages, pcusa.org/mentalhealth. There, you can also sign up for the newly forming churchwide Mental Health Network and find additional resources for developing mental health ministry where you are.
I look forward to working in partnership with you as we work together to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health issues and nurture and equip our Church to grow in its capacity to welcome and support people affected by mental illness.
“Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.”—Isaiah 58:12
The Compassion, Peace & Justice (CPJ) ministry engages with Presbyterians and partners across the U.S. and internationally to:
End poverty and hunger as we:
- Assist and accompany vulnerable communities working to improve their lives
- Support education, training and capacity-building programs
- Work for long-term solutions to systemic poverty and injustice
- Listen to, amplify the voices of partners, and join in action toward these goals
Restore communities impacted by disaster as we:
- Partner with communities affected by disasters, environmental degradation and systemic racism
- Provide training, disaster preparedness and capacity-building programs for mid councils, partners and responders
- Mitigate the impact of disasters and their underlying causes
Promote peace and transform cultures of violence as we:
- Educate, advocate and respond to domestic and international conflicts
- Provide opportunities to learn about peacemaking initiatives, and to accompany impacted communities
- Address structural racism, white supremacy, misogyny and violence; and work for human rights and dignity
- Encourage the study and practice of nonviolence
- Confront the epidemic of gun violence
Promote solidarity with people as we:
- Amplify the voices of those whom society marginalizes and stand with communities as they defend their rights
- Challenge systems of oppression, discrimination and abuse
- Partner with those who seek livable wages and just labor practices
- Engage with partners working with refugees, immigrants, asylum seekers, citizens returning from incarceration, and people impacted by trafficking or forced labor
Promote solidarity with creation as we:
- Work toward environmental justice, creation care, sustainable living, appropriate technologies and climate justice
- Support food and farm systems that restore God’s creation
- Challenge systems that put profit ahead of health, safety and the environment
- Honor and respond to the leadership of frontline communities experiencing environmental degradation and/or environmental racism
- Articulate and advocate for a just transition toward an equitable and sustainable economy
The ministries of Compassion, Peace and Justice are supported by your contributions to the Presbyterian Mission Agency through your local congregation.