The Awkward Summer

My apologies for not writing sooner. The spring/summer has been an awkward one. In May, there was another school shooting followed by the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It was painful to say the least, to watch reporters struggle to transition from tragic news to joyful news.

I also had a friend get married in May — Sharmalee. She was married May 26. Then, on June 10 she was shot and killed by a family member. This tragedy hit close to home. It was especially painful for those of us who work on Thursday evenings, Care Night, here at the church. Sharmalee was an integral part of launching Care Night. She shared in the vision of providing support to those struggling with mental health issues and their families.

Following her tragedy our team knew we needed time to heal. We have taken some time off from Care Night this summer. There were no classes in July and there will be no support groups or classes for most of August. We respectfully ask for your prayers as we take some time to acknowledge our personal loss and seek God’s comfort and healing grace.

I personally am blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful team of volunteers and staff colleagues. While it would be easy to ignore our own pain and just keep going, taking care of others, we want to model positive mental health practices. We want to set an example of self-care. We want to extend support to others when we return with our hearts fully ready to share rather than from a place of brokenness.

In the meantime, we are all blessed by so many wonderful services available in the Northland. Some possible resources can be found at Synergy Services and Tri-County Mental Health Services.

May you enjoy the rest of your summer. We will post information soon about our fall support groups and classes. We look forward to continuing Sharmalee’s legacy of bringing support, education and hope to others.

Blessings Always,