The contents of the linked article (below) will not surprise anyone who regularly worships at Grace Bible Church. (I recall, as a paramedic in downtown Portland during the mid-1980’s when mental health facilitates and state supported hospitals were shutting down, being privatized, etc., and there were soon increased numbers of those who suffered mental illnesses who ended up living on the streets. It was sudden, and noticeable, from my perspective.) I don’t have the exact answers to the problem of untreated mental illness, esp. as it effects our neighborhood–and it doesn’t appear that our city and cultural leaders do, either. But perhaps a good start to the road to finding those answers lays in simply practicing our faith as we best see fit: praying, caring for people, protecting people, and advocating for the people around us at 12th and Clay St.
Beginning next Thursday, June 1st, we’ll continue with our Thursday Prayer Watch at Grace Bible Church, 1431 SW 12th Ave, 7-7:55 AM. The prayer group is open to everyone, and we hope you will consider joining us as often as you like. Some people are there every week, others once a month or so, and others, every once in awhile. We usually start our time with a couple of minutes of coffee pouring and catching up, then we read the Bible. We then devote ourselves to praying for each other, for the needs of our church, neighborhood, city, and world. It’s a very relaxed, encouraging, and powerful experience to gather in the presence of God to pray together.
See you Thursday!
I have recently completed a 7-year process of earning a Doctor of Ministry degree at Western Seminary. My dissertation was a survey of Spiritual Abuse in the Christian Church, with a view towards understanding what spiritual abuse it, how spiritually abusive leaders act and speak, what are the marks of a spiritually abusive church are, and how healthy churches and pastors can be a part of creating a church community that welcomes the survivors of spiritual abuse, and helps them find healing for the abuse. I am so encouraged with the number of people who downloaded my dissertation–more of a testament to the importance of the issue than my writing abilities, but still a bit flattering! I have taken the dissertation off of the internet, for now, as I am going to begin crafting it into a more readable/accessible form, and explore publishing it.
However, if you would like to reach out to me regarding the issue of spiritual abuse, please do contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org