The Sanctuary Course

This small group study, created by Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries, runs over the course of eight weeks, taking participants on a journey of discussing faith and mental health in community. The sessions are designed to be read, processed, and responded to during the small group time. Each theme is explored from a psychological, social, and theological perspective, and each session is accompanied by a compelling film featuring the story of an individual who has journeyed through mental health challenges as a person of faith. Each week will be facilitated by different members of Cedar Park MAST (Mental health and awareness support team).

 

  • All sessions will take place in the Upper South East Classroom at Cedar Park
  • Email mast@cedarparkchurch.org for more info

 

Feb. 10 – Session 1: Introduction
Explores the need for Church engagement in the broader mental health conversation and discusses the role that community plays in mental health support and recovery. This session introduces Darrell, who has experienced depression and struggled with suicidal thoughts.

Feb. 17 – Session 2: Mental Health
Considers the difference between mental health and mental illness, and explores the mental health continuum. This session introduces John, who lives with PTSD.

Feb. 24 – Session 3:Mental Illness
Takes a deeper look at the realities of mental illness and engages with the “tough questions” that Christians ask when faced with mental illness. This session introduces Sharon, whose husband died by suicide.

Mar. 3 – Session 4: Stigma
Examines the effects of stigma on individuals struggling with mental health problems and explores the response contained in the gospel message. This session introduces April, who lives with bipolar disorder.

Mar. 10 – Session 5: Recovery
Redefines the concept of recovery, examines the stages of recovery, and explores the relationship between healing and recovery. This film introduces Julie, who lives with bipolar disorder.

Mar. 31 – Session 6: Companionship
Explores the need for community in recovery and the practices of companionship. This session introduces Lisa, who lives with bipolar disorder and has experienced episodes of psychosis.

Apr. 7 – Session 7: Self-Care
Explores the importance of self-care, boundaries, and self-compassion–especially for those who are caregivers–and reflects on the theological implications of self-care. This film introduces Gordie, who has experienced depression and psychosis.

Apr. 14 – Session 8: The Church 
Gives participants an opportunity to reflect on their experience in the course and discuss how their community can support mental health. This film introduces Alastair, who lives with depression.

 

Course Contributors

  • Professor Ross Hastings – Regent College
  • Hillary McBride – Registered Clinical Counsellor and host of The Liturgists Podcast
  • Pastor Lee Kosa, M Div – Lead Pastor, Cedar Park Church
  • Sue Nickel – Nurse, Counsellor, author of Be Held
  • Professor John Swinton – University of Aberdeen
  • Darrell Johnson – Pastor, author, teaching fellow at Regent College