As co-moderator of the Congregational Care and Support Committee, I am so pleased to announce our Holding Hope Speaker Series. Our first speaker is Beth Purdy, a Raleigh native who will be sharing her very personal story of living and thriving with Bipolar Disorder.
I first heard Beth’s story approximately 10 years ago when she came to speak at another Raleigh church. Beth’s story really touched my heart and I have never forgotten it. It is one of faith and resilience and may resonate with many of you as well. I know it does with me. My own father who passed away in 2017 struggled for many years with Bipolar. Sadly, he was never able to find the peace that Beth has been able to achieve. I also lost my brother-in-law to suicide in 2018. He left behind my sister and her two young daughters. It is heartbreaking that his church was unaware that he was in such a dark place.
Perhaps this program will encourage someone in our church community who may be feeling hopeless to reach out for help. Perhaps those of you who do not suffer from mental illness will gain insight into how to help your friends and loved ones who do. Our committee believes that it is important to bring topics such as these into the open so that we can continue to expand the love, compassion, and understanding that make this church family so special. The more we talk about such matters, the more we can help those in need. As Beth says, “Let’s start the conversation.”
We are planning to sponsor other speakers in the coming months. Some topics we are considering are the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on the family, how to achieve your ultimate relationship, and how to navigate screen time and social media with your children/teens. We welcome your ideas and suggestions for topics as we hope this speaker series will continue for many years to come.
– Amy Propst
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