Saturday, April 14, 2007

What joy!

Yesterday we had a meeting of our Living Room support group. And once more, as always, I had such a wonderful feeling after - a quietly joyful feeling (I like to call it "holy joy"). And that feeling is still somewhat with me, though of course, gradually fading. But I'm happy and positive and I value that, especially after some of the hard times I've had recently.

Twelve of us were in attendance. I don't know if I've ever described our setting here so will do it here: We try to make things as warm and cozy as we can, though we meet in a big church hall. We place three long tables together to make a square table, cover it with a table cloth and place a candelabra with four candles in the center. Everyone helps themselves to lunch as they arrive then sit at the table and visit until the meeting is ready to begin. There are always dishes of chocolates handy. Yesterday we munched on Kisses: milk chocolate and "healthy" dark chocolate ones.

We start out with prayer, then discuss something that arises from Scripture - some topic that has a bearing on what we experience with our moods - often the Psalms (because I believe David was one of us). Yesterday we discussed love and whether we're able to give and receive love when we're depressed. I was pleased because almost everyone contributed to the discussion - even our pastor, Don, someone who usually tries to keep a low profile.

Then, after a break and helping ourselves to more food, we split into two groups where members have an opportunity to talk about what is happening in their lives and any struggles they might be having. At the end we pray for each individual present.

Living Room is a safe, loving, Christian place for people to receive encouragement and find out they're not alone. I'm very happy with how my dream is turning out and want to encourage other churches to offer this kind of self-help group. It's a great way for churches to do something to support those with mood disorders.

This weekend I will work on an article about Living Room for BC Christian News, a paper that goes to all the churches in this area.


Syd said...

What a wonderful way to offer love, support and encouragement. I'd love to see a group like that at my church. With nearly 8,000 members, I'm sure there are many of us there, with no real way of connecting. Please post your newsletter article on your blog. Perhaps other churches will follow your lead.

marja said...

Thank you, Syd. It's good getting to know you. Actually, our church is a small one, only 150 to a service. But Living Room is an outreach program, so we draw from the entire community. Some of the people who come don't go to any church.