Southern Indiana Living

MAY-JUN 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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May/ June 2018 • 32 D In 1959, Personal Counseling Service (PCS) was founded as a pastoral counseling service when three very bright busi- ness women and their husbands recog- nized that many pastors were not trained to deal with mental health issues in the community or in their congregation. The idea of creating a mental health center that supported faith communities as well as the community at large was born. For almost 50 years, we at PCS in Clarksville have lived out our mission of healing body, mind, and spirit. As a spiritually sensitive counseling center, we work with all faith communities and never impose religion upon anyone. We take people where they are, as people of faith or not. In addition to providing in- dividual mental health services, PCS is a training site for faith leaders desiring to be trained in pastoral counseling to better serve their congregations. We have sev- eral ordained clergy on staff who are also licensed therapists who can assist those who desire mental health and spiritual direction. The impact of PCS is not only local, but national as well. Over the past five years, PCS has been involved in a na- tional consortium that has examined com- mon faith concerns and struggles. Several staff members have been trained and are certified in clergy coaching. We have ex- panded services to provide congregation- al assessments, clergy continuing educa- tion units, suicide prevention training and faith planning. The reality is our faith communities struggle with the same issues that exist in the secular world, and we must find ways to navigate our faith communities through murky waters. Last year, Kathy Copas, a New Albany resident who has worked with denominations, churches, faith communities and ecumenical orga- nizations for more than 30 years through- out the U.S., connected with PCS. She is known nationally for her award-winning work and is dedicated to vitality, restora- tion and forward movement for churches and faith communities. Copas and PCS CEO Doug Drake began brainstorming and developed an extension of the Cler- gy Congregational Care Program called FaithRx. FaithRx develops customized training services that include church mis- sion and visioning, mobilizing for church growth, healthy conflict mitigation, cre- ative ministries development, fundrais- ing and stewardship, cultivating outreach partnerships, creative church building use and reuse. Most recently, FaithRx held a workshop hosted at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church on the topic of "Safe Church," which included Sgt. Mat- thew Marshall of the Indiana State Police and other presenters guiding churches to develop safety, security and crisis plans in light of recent church shootings and other security incursions. Smaller versions of this workshop are currently being offered in individual churches throughout South- ern Indiana and the Louisville area. One of our visions for FaithRx is as a think tank for contemporary issues relat- ing to the intersection of the church and the world. A current issue of research and focus is around clergy who are being bul- lied in their congregation. It is a problem many clergy have experienced, but often remains hidden amid the dynamics of church leadership. FaithRx is currently at work researching and writing about the issue, developing mental health strate- gies in support of bullied clergy as well as strategies for how clergy can offer a more effective pastoral presence to the bullies they may encounter in their ministry. "Coping with the Bully in Your Congrega- tion: A Workshop for Clergy," led by the Rev. Dr. Linda Penrod Million, will be offered Thursday, May 24, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in New Albany. The workshop is free and requires no regis- tration. Afterward, a group will continue the discussion and offer mutual support informally over lunch at a nearby restau- rant. FaithRx has been designed to pri- marily serve a 200-mile radius of Southern Indiana, but already has been called upon to consult as far away as metropolitan Boston, Massachusetts, assisting a large Lutheran congregation with its branding, web and social media presence, church growth strategies and a growing list of other services. We provide education about mental wellness to make our faith communities healthier and safer. • For information regarding FaithRx, contact Kathy Copas at (502) 345-6406. PCS is in Clarksville, Ind., and has been serv- ing the community since 1959. The organi- zation provides counseling services in the form of psychotherapy, pastoral counseling, play therapy, trauma counseling, addictions therapy, music therapy and more. There are also outreach programs such as the older- adult community choir and Clergy Congrega- tion Care. For more information, visit www. pcs-counseling.org or call the intake coordina- tor at (812) 283-8383, ext. 121. Pictured above: Sgt. Matthew Marshall of the Indiana State Police is interviewed at the FaithRx Safe Church workshop. The Intersection of Mental Health and Faith Communities The reality is our faith communities struggle with the same issues that exist in the secular world, and we must find ways to navigate our faith communities through murky waters. By Skylar Hermann

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