In the middle of a 90 hour work week, after a series of 90+ hour work weeks, I joined the 350 million people who suffer from mild to moderate depression. For me it was as if the rug was pulled out from under my feet and I went into a very sharp downward spiral. For others, the descent into darkness is much longer and more prolonged than my steep drop off, so, while my story has a happy ending that came quickly, others have a longer/slower drop off, or can’t recall the last time they felt “normal.” Some may be physically unable to define “normal” so the the “one size fits all” classification doesn’t work.
But this I can tell you, it was frightening for me, so I can’t imagine what others must feel. So, while I know my personal story may not fit all, I can tell you it was rather clear to me that I needed help QUICKLY. Mine came within a few weeks, and nearly too late to have a prolonged affect.
Also, I know now that drug therapy alone was not the full reason for my eventual recovery. In short, I needed to change my work load, my behaviors, which wound up being much harder, but having much longer lasting results.
After 10 years of intense work, I gave my resignation and reshaped my whole world.
I became an Interim Pastor – dramatically reduced my stress and found, after two years, and with the doctor’s help, that drug therapy was not necessary over the long haul, but regular exercise, reduced stress and healthy thinking all contributed to a better version of me.
If you are one of the people who suffer from mild to moderate depression, know that there are many people just like you, and many are finding help through the ever advancing scientific studies that are currently making strides.
Here is a simple link to one of many videos out on the internet. Good luck with your struggles. If you need uplifting, please know you have a friend who doesn’t claim to understand, but one who can empathize with you along the path of recovery.
If you haven’t spent a night at the theatre lately, you really need to get out more. Here’s a suggestion, go see Fun Home. It’s tragic and humorous, well scripted, beautifully acted and the staging is impressive. Yeah, it’s good….or better yet, beyond good.
It’s timely, important, suitably appropriate for those who have no idea what it’s like to “come out of the closet” or for those who have, and wonder how the journey has been for those who don’t and won’t and feel that they can’t.
It’s a time warp of a musical, where the lead character changes ages, tries to capture feelings, and process many hundreds of questions all at the same moment.
You will laugh, you may cry, and you may come away wondering, if you’re straight, how anyone could possibly think of homosexuality as a choice one makes.
You might come away a bit more open-minded or a bit less judgmental, especially of those who feel trapped into acting in ways society finds acceptable. You might come away wondering how a family might have open discussions without fear, and possibly why some simply can’t navigate the cascading emotions.
Yeah, it’s that good.
Go see it and then you can tell me where you heard God speak to you, and what questions you are still processing about human nature and family dynamics.
Interim Pastor Neil Allen
(From the Sermon on 7/16/17)
...if it might be appropriate to call for a special offering of praise might generate out of this thankfulness for our electing a New General Minister and President who also happens to be the first African American Woman to head a Major Denomination in the World? Would that be appropriate? We could donate it to her office and let her decide what God might do with the over and above giving.
You know $I dollar – with George Washington’s face on it might be an appropriate gift. After all, Washington was the first…and he got credit for being the first.
But then there is Lincoln who authored the Emancipation Proclamation and called for Abolition from Slavery….maybe a $5 gift would be okay too.
But Hamilton, was a few steps ahead of his time and called for Abolition of slavery long before Lincoln….maybe a $10 note with his face would be a good idea.
Now, Jackson was a racist. I’ve walked on the property he once “owned” and saw the fields where slaves were held and I also know how he ordered the removal of first nation people from the east to west of the Mississippi river…And, speaking only for myself, I would gladly see him replaced on the $20 note, but would a donation of $20send a strong message that racism cannot own us….Dr. Teresa Hord Owens said it her speech, “This is where we go high and nothing will hold us back.”
But then Grant, a man who put his life on the line to end Slavery, is on the $50 bill…that might be a big sacrifice for those of us to whom $50 is a lot of money.
But then there is Benjamin Franklin…and he’s on the $100. He wasn’t a president, but he did like experiments and did write documents that started us on a path to freedom and equality.
Oh, never mind me, I’m just a preacher who has walked up the mountain, seen the face of God, and I’ve come down again to the place where live and breathe and have my being. You should let God guide you to do what’s best.
The QA fun run occurred on Saturday 7/15. It was fun for me, because I didn’t run. I only helped make sure those who did run were blessed and hydrated.
We handout water, made sure the recycling was clearly separated from the waste (believe it or not, people are still confused about it). We set up tables for registration and for refreshments, and sound systems so people would hear a word of gratitude.
QA helpline website says this:
Services offered only to residents living in 98109, 98119, and 98199 include:
This is a great ministry and now I have a T-Shirt to remind me that even small gifts help others.
Do you have any spare coins? Given them to the QA helpline. They will know where to direct them.
Interim Pastor Neil A. Allen
…So, when we gathered in Indianapolis to celebrate our unity as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), I must tell you, I was so pleased to see our wider church has begun to realize that “church” in the formal sense of the word, that focuses on building, needs to be replaced with “church” as a body of believers where you go to gather spiritual energy, share testimony, encourage brothers and sisters, share holy focus, divine inspiration and mission, over pews and walls and all the pettiness of institutional/denominational/ecclesiastical eeeeeehhhh. I am pleased to tell you that one can actually feel, and celebrate as healthy, the direction our faithful remnant is heading.
We do, however, have a very long road ahead of us. Many pastor’s hear from their ever shrinking numbers that we live in a scarcity of resources… One can almost hear the complaining from the “Back to Egypt” committee, but, and I say this with great respect, when I last checked, we serve a God who always speaks from abundance.
I’ve heard that Jesus came to give life and to give it abundantly….if that’s not in the bible, it should be.
I’m so thankful for those who love, serve and trust God, and grateful to share with you a few tidbits from our recent assembly and to tell you, God has not abandoned us, or left us orphaned. A new crop of holy guides is being produced in our camps and seminaries, in the mission field, and yes, even in the hallways and pews of the institutional churches, in engaged thinking and acting with like-minded souls who have been touched into faith by a loving God. A fresh wind of the spirit is blowing across the dusty pews of our aging church, and bones are rising-up from the ashes.
You can say Amen and mean “Let it be so” but the time for saying it without living it, have come and gone.
Interim Pastor Neil W. Allen
Pastor Neil Allen
I am blessed to serve as the pastor of Queen Anne Christian Church, an amazing community of wise and thoughtful people.