Dates: Wednesday, February 7 - Wednesday, March 27
Time: 7 - 9 pm
Location: ClearView Church Youth Room
Course Length: 8 sessions
The Sanctuary Course equips churches as they seek to become sanctuaries where people with mental health challenges feel safe, supported, and a sense of belonging. Designed as a study guide for small groups, the course offers participants the opportunity to redefine their understanding of mental health, learn about various experiences of mental illness, consider the impact of stigma, explore the process of recovery, discover the importance of companionship, reflect on the experience of caregiving, and examine self-care practices. Each session is accompanied by a compelling film that features the story of a Christian with lived experience of a mental health challenge, along with the insights of church leaders, theologians, and mental health professionals.
The coursebook defines key terms, presents relevant research, addresses common questions, and explores important concepts from three perspectives: the psychological, the social, and the theological. This reading, done in advance of group meetings, helps participants connect around the session’s topic using a shared framework and language.
The films elevate the voice of lived experience, emphasizing various aspects of the realities of living with mental health challenges. Mental health professionals, theologians, and church leaders contribute insights, helpful biblical integration, and ideas for community support. Participants watch the films together during group meetings. Note that films include content warnings; some participants may choose not to view certain films.
The discussion guides contain questions for your community to ponder together, along with opportunities for deeper reflection through art, poetry, prayers, and spiritual practices. These guides make facilitating The Sanctuary Course simple, as they provide a step-by-step process for group meetings and opportunity to engage more deeply with the content that is most meaningful for each group.
Please note: This course and films address difficult and sensitive topics, and may not be appropriate for a young audience. It is not recommended for people age 17 and younger.