Dear Congregational Family,
1. September is National Suicide Prevention Month: Suicide has become one of the leading causes of death in our nation today. On average, one person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes. Two thirds of these are depression related.
Among our military, I had read statics that put suicide at twenty-two per day. Just today, I read the news feed of three sailors on the George H.W. Bush ship who independently committed suicide. Each one is a painful tragedy with effects that ripple throughout families and communities. It is likely that each one of us, knows someone who has considered or who has succumbed to suicide.
Recently, there have been some high level suicides of national attention. One of them, was on Sept. 10, when Harvest Christian Fellowship mega church, associate pastor, Jarrid Wilson committed suicide. (Christianity Today has a good article covering this.)
Just before his death, he tweeted, “Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.”
Wilson also wrote:
“Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety.
But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort.
He ALWAYS does that.
Wilson was also co-founder of the mental health nonprofit Anthem of Hope. Harvest senior pastor Greg Laurie, said “Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people. We are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not.” “At the end of the day, pastors are just people who need to reach out to God for his help and strength, each and every day,” he added.
Wilson’s wife, Julianne Wilson stated, “Suicide doesn’t get the last word. I won’t let it. You always said “Hope Gets the last word. Jesus does,”
2. Adult Sunday School:
a. This week a new series begins in the Large Classroom, looking at contemporary issues in our society. How should the church respond? This week we will be watching an excellent presentation regarding suicide which was given to our youth at the FLY Convention this summer, by a Christian Counselor.
b. Also this week, a new series begins on Apologetics, “Answers Academy” which will help you in sharing and defending your faith. This week it will meet in the Upper Room, and then move to the Fireplace Lounge for future weeks.
c. The following week, another new series on “Parenting” will begin. It will be in the Upper Room.
3. Men’s Dinner: Last week our men had an incredible evening together for our annual Steak & Chicken Fry! Dr. Ron Good, was an excellent speaker! The Worship Team lead us in song and worship. It was very well attended, and the fellowship was wonderful! Praise God for our men’s ministry!!
(see a couple pictures below of some of the tables of men, Pete Huwe (organizer!) and Dr. Good.)
4. Sermon text for this Sunday is Daniel 12:1-4. The title is: “Deliverance for God’s People.”
God bless you as we continue,
“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God”