Churches Receive Grant From Golden Cross, A Division Of Methodist Health

mental healthThe communities of South Dallas/Fair Park Faith Coalition, St. Luke “Community” UMC and Wheatland UMC will be benefit

Beginning this spring, three churches will partner with Methodist Health System (MHS) to launch a new effort to become hubs of mental wellness for their constituents and communities. Through a three-year grant of $262,580 from the Golden Cross Division of the Methodist Health System Foundation, the Faith Community Nursing Program will hire a registered nurse to catalyze holistic wellness efforts at these new “hub churches.”

This effort grew out of the North Texas Conference’s Mental Wellness Initiative, responding to the region’s pandemic-driven needs. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the conference’s Center for Missional Outreach (CMO) heard a consistent request from churches for help in addressing a tsunami of mental wellness concerns in congregations and communities. 

In response, the CMO convened a mental health design team to bring the resources and connections of the conference to help in local settings and further equip churches to respond to the mental wellness concerns of their neighbors and congregants. Bud Browne and Rev. Holly Bandel, of the Mental Wellness Alliance, along with MHS Vice President of Pastoral Services Rev. Caesar Rentie and the MHS Faith Community Nursing Program collaborated with the CMO to develop a way for congregations to become hubs for holistic mental wellness.

“Our local congregations have already established important connections with community groups and built trust with their constituents, making them hubs we can strengthen and build upon to foster optimum mental wellness in our communities,” Rev. Rentie said. “This work – made possible by the Golden Cross grant – will equip our partner churches to best respond to the whole-person health needs of their congregants, neighbors and constituents – especially those who are most vulnerable.”

Golden Cross is a faith-based program of Methodist Health System and the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, established in 1921 to revolutionize the delivery of healthcare in North Texas by funding services for those in greatest need.

“Prior to 2020, our health system had already identified a substantial need for mental health and wellness resources in many of our underserved communities – and COVID has only compounded that need,” said Joy Duncan, Vice President of the Methodist Health System Foundation. “This collaborative work from the North Texas Conference, Methodist’s Faith Community Nursing Program and the CMO is going to have a significantly positive impact on the health and wellness of these churches’ congregants, their families and their communities. Golden Cross grants are intentionally directed to programs and services provided by or supported by Methodist Health System.”

The CMO and the Faith Community Nursing Program are conducting a hiring search now for the first registered nurse and plans to launch the program at Salem Institutional Baptist Church and South Dallas/Fair Park Faith Coalition, St. Luke “Community” UMC and Wheatland UMC this spring.

Published: Thursday, February 17, 2022