The Uniting Church in Queensland formally recognised the importance of mental health ministry at the 31st Synod in October 2014. The church affirmed the ongoing provision of mental health services by church agencies; requested the identification, development and provision of resources for congregations; and encouraged all congregations to participate in the Mental Health Day of Prayer during Mental Health Week in October each year.
The church recognises that people with mental health issues are one of the most marginalised groups in the community, are frequently isolated, and experience poverty, unemployment, stigma and exclusion. We are called to care and be involved in outreach to individuals and families whose lives are affected by mental health issues, and in advocacy to remove injustices in mental health delivery and support.
The Biblical witness speaks of a variety of human experiences of time. There is joy and despair, hope and hopelessness, celebration and grief. There is no normal human experience of time.
- There are times to lament and to groan about the fragility of creation (Romans 8: 18-25).
- Jesus cried out “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me” (Matthew 27: 46).
- The Psalmist cries out “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long?” (Psalm 13: 1-3).
- The wisdom writers remind us, “For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to search, and a time to give something up as lost; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to rip, and a time to sew; a time to keep silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
- In the New Testament, the apostle Paul reminds us, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 35-39).