Summer 2013

Mental health is a very important concern for our nation, county and city; it is also essential to us as individuals and families. And yet it may not sound like a spiritual concern — at least not at first. “Mental health” sounds clinical, and it sounds like the opposite of mental illness. Yet words like balance and wellness, wholeness and peace suggest a kind of spiritual health that we may have difficulty naming and yet long to possess.

The title of our series – Shalem, Shalom – underscores the kind of peace and well-being that we seek as individuals and as a wider community. Shalom we know as the Hebrew word for “peace.” Though we know that this peace implies wellness and wholeness and not just the absence of violence, it is in its root word shalem that shalom’s true meaning is found. Shalem connotes balance, a kind of wellness that swings with daily circumstance, an inner responsiveness that focuses on our capacity for health in the midst of the challenges of life. With shalem comes shalom; in so many ways we see that with emotional and spiritual resilience, peace in the communal sense is made possible.

This summer we will walk the fine line between learning and worshipping. Each of our guest preachers has been invited because of his or her professional expertise in fields related to mental and spiritual wellness; they have also been asked to speak with us because they are uniquely engaging people who (as lay people or as clergy) are at home in worship and ready to contribute to it.

June 23 – Shalem for Youth
Dr. Nacole Milbrook, VP of Youth Counseling, UCAN

June 30 – Embracing Difference
Rev. Susan Johnson, Hyde Park Union Church

July 7 – Social Responsibility
Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President

July 14 – Faith and Depression
Rev. Dr. Joel Harter, Hyde Park Union Church

July 21 – Aging and Mental Wellness
Rev. Jeanne Hale, Retirement and Hospice Chaplain

July 28 – Integrating Mind, Body, and Spirit
Dr. Helen Theodoropoulos, St. Sava Serbian Orthodox School of Theology

August 4 – Reframing Beauty
Rob Lentz, Artist and Program Director for Project Onward

August 11 – Balance and Wellness
Rev. Elizabeth Ritzman, Director of the Wellness Center at Dominican University

August 18 – Peace and Restorative Justice
Fr. David Kelly, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation
with the Marimba Players of Holy Cross-IHM Parish

August 25 – Seeking Calm in School and Beyond
Amanda Guthrie, Hyde Park Union Church

Summer Children’s Program
Two of our services – June 30 and August 25 – will be explicitly inclusive of children and youth, with themes designed to speak to our families. On other Sundays, following the children’s sermon, Pastor Amanda will work with our children in our new garden and engage our kids with lessons and activities about the environment and our relationship to God’s creation.

The Choir and Second Hour adult education are on recess during the summer months.