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NAMI FaithNet Newsletter

May 5, 2006

Welcome to the beginning of a new stage in the growth of NAMI FaithNet. This e-newsletter is a reflection of a closer partnership between the NAMI FaithNet grassroots network and the NAMI National organization. NAMI now coordinates the production of this e-mail, as well as the new NAMI FaithNet Web site, www.nami.org/namifaithnet. Gunnar Christiansen, founder of NAMI FaithNet, will graciously continue to serve in an advisory capacity. Read a special message from Gunnar below. NAMI National wishes to commend Gunnar for his care and persistence in growing and sustaining this network over the past eight years.

A Personal Note

Gunnar Christiansen
NAMI FaithNet founder

I am very pleased that the NAMI National staff is willing to take on this new responsibility.  It is an answer to my prayers.  

NAMI needs the faith community and the faith community needs NAMI.  It is people like you and me that have the potential to be the alarm clocks that can awaken the "Sleeping Giant" -- the faith community.  We can do it, because we have an ally and we could not have a better one.  With God's help, anything is possible.  

All of the roles that we play in developing a welcoming and a spiritually-nourishing environment in our own congregations, and in awakening the faith community, as a whole, to its opportunity to effectively minister with people living with a mental illness, are of equal importance.  The value of our combined efforts is expressed very nicely in the Book of Ecclesiastes chapter 4, verse 12:

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

Each of you on the NAMI FaithNet E-Mail Network is encouraged to e-mail what is happening in ministry with people living with a mental illness in your congregation and in your area of the United States.  Hearing what works and doesn't work in this area of advocacy and being introduced to new resources is helpful.  Hopefully, this communication through cyberspace will prevent attempts to "re-invent the wheel."

I urge you to share with the NAMI staff what you feel will be helpful for the rest of us to read in this newsletter.  The NAMI National staff, however, is just one strand.  The strength of the FaithNet NAMI E-Mail "cord" is dependent on the input of all of us.”

Send your submissions to faith@nami.org

Faith Resources to be Featured at NAMI Convention

Several events of interest to people of faith have been scheduled during the 2006 NAMI National Convention in Washington, D.C., June 28 – July 2. These include a workshop on “Mental Illness as Spiritual Journey,” presented by Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder; a FaithNet networking meeting; a NAMI FaithNet table in the “NAMI Land” area of the exhibit hall; and an interfaith worship service. Read more…

The pre-registration deadline for the 2006 NAMI Convention is rapidly approaching, so make your plans now to attend. The Early Bird rates of $225 for NAMI members/$275 for non-members are available only through May 30. Even lower rates are available for consumers. Register online, and get all the information you need about registration, the convention program, hotel, and Washington, D.C., travel information on the NAMI Web site

Sunshine from Darkness: Pathways to Promise Poster Project

During the past two decades, Pathways to Promise has been a leader in educating the faith community concerning the biologic basis for and associated stigma of serious mental illness.  As well, it has provided resources for aiding congregations that desire to improve their ministry with people who live with these disorders. Recently, Pathways received financial assistance for providing a new, unique resource that may soon be made available to all congregations. Read more…


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To learn more about NAMI FaithNet, visit their Web site.


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