By Ruth E. Smith
Windermere Union Church is working to fight stigma against those with a Mental Health problem, along with the International Group National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). We do this because we have seen a need to reach out to those who have been diagnosed with a Mental Health problem and let them know our community stands with them in fighting stigmatism. We are also here for those with families and friends who may have loved ones with a Mental Health problem. We have seen there is hope in leading a normal life for those who receive medical attention, take medication, and are loved, supported and accepted.
I am one who can attest to this. I was diagnosed back in 1973 with Manic Depression. Today they call it Bipolar 1 Disorder. I have been in recovery now since January of 2009.
I came to know about Windermere Union Church through a program that NAMI presented called “Into the Light.” After meeting church members, and seeing how loving and accepting they were, no matter where one is on their personal and faith journey, I knew I wanted to check out this church. That was four years ago.
There is no church I have been to like Windermere Union Church. We all feel like one family, loving each other, supporting each other, and taking care of one another. Pastor Barton, is our leader, who we feel is truly just one of us. He is very creative in his teaching and encourages us to listen to the Holy Spirit, and our instinct as we continue in our spiritual journey. He inspires us to be all that we can be.
I am very happy to be a member of Windermere Union Church and to be a member of NAMI: together both have helped me so much in my recovery.
Our church is small, but our hearts are big, because the heartbeat of Jesus, is alive and well here.
Come just as you are, see for yourself if we are not different from most churches you may have gone to.
We respect, accept and celebrate our differences here at Windermere Union Church of Christ.