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By: Pastor Darren Godsoe

April 4, 2024


n Sabbath we have the privilege of joining together to participate in the communion service.  For hard-working deacons and deaconesses, the communion service can become something that just feels like a lot of extra work.  Or some people may fear that the service might run too long.  (Don’t worry – we are making some minor adjustments to help it run as efficiently as possible.)  And for seasoned church members, there is always the risk that the ritual can become routine, and thus less meaningful.  But I encourage you to remember that it really is a privilege to remember and symbolically act out what Jesus taught and did for us.  The freedom we enjoy to participate in this service may not always be ours.  So let’s come to the Lord’s table together – united in Him.

     We’ve been planning and looking forward to it for it for a while, and finally on Thursday we hosted the opening night of Mindfit.  We had an attendance of approximately 35 for our first session.  Thank you to everyone who prepared and led out, who attended, and who shared an invitation for a friend/neighbour/relative/colleague to attend.  The first session focused on the stigma surrounding mental health and illness.  In the special edition of the Vibrant Life magazine produced for Mindfit, it notes that “more than half of people who suffer from depression, anxiety, or other forms of mental illness, do not receive help.  They avoid seeking treatment because they are concerned what others will think of them.  In some cases, they even fear they will lose a job or relationship if they admit they have a mental illness.”

     It is good that we are opening up the conversation about mental health with this program, as it is something that affects all of us.  Allow me to just share a gentle reminder that this is something that we have advertised and invited the community to attend.  So as we who are members take in and participate in the seminar, let’s be mindful of the fact that not everyone in attendance is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian.  We are holding this in the church, and the seminar materials have an overt biblical and spiritual component.  But there is always a difference between a program or seminar intended to be in-house for our own training and edification, and something that is intended to be shared with the broader community.  As followers of Jesus, we can naturally and almost automatically approach any conversation from an evangelistic perspective.  But this seminar is not intended to be training for how to use mental health as a tool to reach people for Jesus and lead them to baptism.  This seminar is designed to help provide useful information and dialogue about the very real issue – crisis really – of mental illness and its effects on our society.  As a Christian, it is very appropriate in this setting to ask questions and discuss the relevant connection between our spirituality and our mental health.  But that could also be true for a Muslim, or Buddhist, or even a non-religious person.  So as we dialogue in this short seminar through Sunday evening, let’s be thoughtful to ensure that a person who is not a member of our church or faith persuasion could still feel that they are in the right place – in a setting intended for both them and us.

     We hope to be able to host Mindfit again, and we want it to be a setting in which we can feel safe to invite our friends, family and neighbours who are not a part of our church fellowship.