Faith Voices: Communities of Persistent, Patient Love – Rev. John Mark Hild

“The church is not called to become a community of psychiatrists; it is called to become a community of persistent, patient love. Psychiatry and the mental health professions have their place. But their tasks are different (although complementary) from the task of the church. The church’s task is to give people back their names.”

— John Vanier and John Swinton, Mental Health –The Inclusive Church Resource

How true this is. I remember my 78-year-old mother moving to a new town to be closer to her kids and finding a new church home. She was so excited one day when she said, “I have a name. My name is Anna – not Mrs. Hild or John Mark’s mom or someone’s child.” The joy of being an individual was so evident, joy that she now had the freedom to be who she was. I wish someone respected her individuality before that moment, what a lesson for me.

– Rev. John Mark Hild
Christ Congregational United Church of Christ
Faith Leaders in Action

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