Posted by Josh Rausch

Hello everyone,

This week the youth will be continuing their topic on “Mental Health, ” this week talking about a silent epidemic, suicide.

The statistics surrounding suicide in America¬†are surprising. In 2014 (the most recent year for which we have complete data) there were 42,773 suicides, compared to 32,675 car crash fatalities and 14,249 homicides. The suicide rate has increased every year since 1999. The rate of suicide is increasing across almost all racial, economic, and religious boundaries. According to The Center for Disease Control, we’re dealing with nothing short of a public health epidemic.

Despite the tragic and growing ubiquitous nature of suicide in our culture, there remains denial and/or suppression in talking about suicide- what it is, what to watch for, and for The Church, what it might mean to bring the Grace of God to bear on the situation.

Our goal for this topic is really simple- to normalize conversations about a difficult topic. We won’t be able to answer every question or wrap up an unbearably sad topic with any neat bows. What will do is talk about what Jesus’ free and un-restricted love means in this context. We will shine The Light into this particular darkness.

I would strongly encourage you as families to have open and honest conversations about mental and emotional health and suicide. There are plenty of resources out there, but the most important resource you have is each other, some honesty, and a lot of  the grace of Jesus Christ.

Sr. High Youth Group // Wed. 6:30-8:30pm AT OLD GYM

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the Valentine Adventure at St. Paul, High School youth group will be held at the old gym in Utica.

Family Ministry Event, Sunday 6:00-7:15pm in Fellowship Hall

This Sunday our DCE Practicum students are leading an event for your entire families called “Come-Unity”:

“Come-Unity” is an opportunity for members and families of all ages to come together for an hour of fun activities with time for parents and members to lead a devotion with their families.”

THIS EVENT WILL TAKE THE PLACE OF OUR NORMAL JR. HIGH YOUTH GROUP EVENTS.