Pastor Ben Schori- Children, Youth and Family Ministry
In Late September, I attended the Suicide Awareness Symposium presented by Mental Health Connect at Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities in Minneapolis. It was a fantastic and incredibly valuable event, which dove into a topic that our society, and especially the church, far too often pushes to the margins. Rev. Dr. Rachel Keefe, Pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ, gave a powerful and engaging presentation on suicide through the lens of scripture, theology, and the church, and gave very practical ideas of how to talk about and engage with the reality of suicide in our contexts.
I also attended two workshops. The first was with Melissa Dau, Youth Suicide Prevention Coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Health. She introduced and educated us on a plethora of secular resources available for combating youth suicide and welcomed us to discern how these resources might be utilized in our congregational contexts. The second workshop was with Rev. Emmy Kegler, Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in NE Minneapolis. She spoke on Suicide and Faith in LGBTQ+ People and shared some incredibly valuable history of the church and queer population in this country, as well as some ways that we in the congregational setting can be welcoming and inclusive of LGBTQ+ people and help prevent the suicide of these beloved Children of God.