Christ Our Anchor Presbyterian Church is observing May as Mental Health Awareness Month.
"The goal is to have a church that is not a place of reinforcing stigma, but rather a place of safety and welcome," said Rev. Jessie Lowry.
On April 29, the parish welcomed guest preacher Jay Garvin whose family struggle with addiction recovery ties into his call as a Lay Pastor. On Sunday, Lowry presented a sermon on "mental health and how it relates to our faith journeys."
On May 15 at 7 p.m., there will be a presentation on Mental Health Support in Anne Arundel County
The presenter will be Fred Delp, director of Anne Arundel County National Alliance on Mental Illness. Those dealing with a diagnosis or looking for better ways to help someone they love are invited.
There will also be a special bulletin board and information table in the coming weeks with useful resources for those who have mental health and addiction issues; including printables of the hashtag, 'You can have a #REALCONVO with me.'
Lowry will be making these available to members, including the youth group.
"The Real Convo hashtag comes from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention based on the idea that 89 percent of people believe that mental health is as important as physical health, but do not know how to talk about it," Lowry said.
Earth Day Celebration
St. Andrew by the Bay, Annapolis, celebrated Earth Day April 22. The Creation Care Team hosted the event on the church grounds featuring non-profits and environmental groups. The group of about 15 people has been working on renewing commitment to recycling in the parish, educating the community and partnering with Project Clean Stream to clean up streams in Cape St Claire.
Pastoral Associate Stephany Crane said the team formed in response to Pope Francis' open letter to "every person living on this planet" called On Care for Our Common Home. Pope Francis points to "our inseparable bond" between care for the earth and care for the poor.
"Small groups in our faith community read and discussed the letter, and felt called to act," Crane said.
Children interacted with animals, participated in crafts and learned about the environment through an "Earth Day Passport" booklet.
Hope for All collected goods donated by parishioners to help needy families in Anne Arundel County. Parish Knights of Columbus fed everyone with free hot dogs and hamburgers.
St. Margaret’s awards $95,000
On April 17, the Vestry of St. Margaret's Church named the nonprofit recipients of $95,000. Program funding comes from an endowment gift from the estate of Ed and Zoe Hall, former parishioners of St. Margaret's. This church's grants program is now in its 20th year, and has awarded over $2.3 million to nonprofits locally and around the globe.
$4,100 - To Sarah’s House (at Fort George G. Meade) for new kitchen appliances;
$7,500 - To Mission of Mercy to support a new mobile dental clinic and their expanded Maryland free dental program;
$10,000 - To Somos Amigos Medical Mission for medical and dental specialist referrals and diagnostic testing for clinic’s patients in the Dominican Republic;
$17,000 - To Acts 4 Youth (Baltimore) allowing expansion of their program to an additional school, serving 100-200 youths; $10,000 - To Seeds 4 Success (Annapolis) to launch the Eastport Boys Club, similar to the very successful Eastport Girls Club;
$4,300 -To The ARC Central Chesapeake Region’s for parent support group and “Sibshops” program for 5-11 year old siblings of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities;
$6,000 - To Box of Rain (Annapolis) to cover the cost of a year-long high school “Charting Careers" program for 12 students;
$8,000 - To Siempre Unidos for food support supplementing medical care for 25 impoverished HIV positive patients in Honduras.
"We are very pleased to continue our commitment to global outreach, while at the same time assisting local organizations who are truly changing lives in our own community," said the Rev.Peter W. Mayer, rector of St. Margaret's.