Dear Church Family,

“A Community of Grace” is a phrase you hear a lot at MCC. Striving to be a community of grace is essential to us at MCC; we want to be a church that reflects out the same grace Christ has heaped upon us. We want people to come with their hurts, shame, and brokenness – and know this is a place of welcome, love and forgiveness.

Some days, living out a culture of grace comes easily as we forgive minor slights or encourage someone through everyday trials and disappointments. But the brokenness and hurt for some can be so profound that we need to extend more than grace to help in a time of great difficulty. This is when our Community of Grace needs to step up into a Community of Care , where we show grace in the brokenness, but then walk alongside the hurting and guide them towards the help they need.

For those walking with loved ones suffering with prolonged depression or even suicidal thoughts, this task can be agonizing and leave individuals feeling inadequate to help. On May 20th at 5pm , we will seek to better equip those in our congregation and community through a Suicide Prevention Panel in Fellowship Hall. We will be joined by Jack Easterby, who is part of our MCC family and is also the Character Coach for the New England Patriots. He will offer a presentation developed from his own personal and professional experiences dealing with suicide.

In addition to learning from Jack’s experiences, we will be guided by three other mental health professionals from our MCC family: Andrea Shoenfelt, Jessa Wilson and Keith Verra. They will speak to us from their years of working with adults, families and youth who have carried the burden of depression and mental illness, thoughts of suicide, or have even been left with the sorrow of losing a loved one to suicide.

This May 20th event is, to be sure, different from most events we host. There are no hamburgers, bounce houses or band. But what an impact this event will have as we learn how to show God’s grace and care to those who are struggling! If we leave better prepared to be useful to someone in crisis – making us useful to God in saving a life, this could be one of the most important discussions we host yet.
 
- Cathy Taylor
Director of Women's Ministries

P.S. As we want to extend this opportunity to our broader community, we encourage you to invite anyone you think may benefit from attending.