Even before our communities were coping with a national pandemic, people facing challenging life situations and emotional struggles often sought counsel from their pastor or other church leaders. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the demand for emotional support from trusted sources is even greater. Over the past year, Urban Alliance has been working with church leaders to build the capacity of ministries in the UA network so they are equipped to help people in our community cope with the emotional impacts of the pandemic and persevere through this challenging season.
At the onset of the pandemic, Urban Alliance offered a training on building emotional resilience, which covered ten important skills for people to have when adjusting to adverse and challenging life situations. After participating in this training, Wethersfield Evangelical Free Church leveraged the content shared to offer a webinar on emotional resilience and encouraged small groups to use the materials so families in their congregation could also benefit from the resources and invest in their emotional health. Urban Alliance supported this effort by facilitating the webinar and providing a group discussion guide for leaders.
In December 2020, Dr. Jessica Sanderson, Urban Alliance’s Director of Initiatives, had the privilege of coming alongside Wellspring Church in their effort to raise awareness and build a better understanding of important mental health topics in the community. By contributing to the church’s sermon series titled, “The Gospel and Mental Health” Dr. Sanderson was able to share valuable information on overcoming depression and trauma based on research and clinical experience. The information and tools shared not only helped congregants at Wellspring personally, but equipped them to help others outside the church. Visit Wellspring’s website to listen to the entire series of messages.
Outside of training and information-sharing, last year Urban Alliance was excited to support Victory Church with a $4,000 grant award that will not only allow them to better support people currently in need of care, but also invest in a long-term strategy for helping more people in their community experience hope and healing. The funding will be used by Victory’s Soul Care ministry to develop a database for church leaders to coordinate care for each person served, a training curriculum for lay counselors, and a resource library for both counselors and people receiving care. This work will not only increase the scope and quality of the ministry’s efforts, but also provide a strong ministry model for others to replicate in their own church.
The Urban Alliance team celebrates these efforts and looks forward to more opportunities to respond to felt needs, equip ministry leaders, and strengthen programming in the year ahead. You can help us do this by giving today!