Community Missions, Inc. and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center will again join to host the ninth annual Interfaith Community Prayer Service at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
The event will take place at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 822 Cleveland Ave., Niagara Falls, and is part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, a national event designed to raise public awareness about mental illness and break down the stigma that too often discourages people from seeking help when needed.
Area leaders from various faith traditions will join mental health consumers, including those who participate in programs provided by Community Missions and Memorial Medical Center, their families and community members, to seek guidance and help in replacing misinformation, blame, fear and prejudice with truth and life in order to offer hope to those touched by mental illness.
The service will feature readings, prayers and music offered by representatives of various faith traditions and community members. Individuals that are part of Community Missions Adult Mental Health programs will also participate.
Among those slated to speak are:
• Rev. Vince Eisaman – Pastoral care provider at Memorial Medical Center and pastor of Lewiston’s United Baptist Christian Church
• Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. -- President Emeritus, Niagara University;
• Fr. Raphael Barberg – St. George Orthodox Church, Niagara Falls
• Kuldip Singh Cheema – President, Niagara Sikh Association
• Rev. Joyce Sconiers & Rolonna Payne, Chosen Fellowship Church, VOH Center, Niagara Falls
• Fr. Stewart Lindsay – Holy Family Parish, Niagara Falls
• Jean Bonet – Community Missions Program Participant
• Pat Bradley – Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center
• Judy Maggs of St. James United Methodist Church, Niagara Falls will provide music.
• Niagara Ministerial Council
One in five adults experience mental illness problems every year. Although many people understand that mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by it are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination.
“It is so critical that we, as a society, squarely face the challenge of ending the unnecessary stigma associated with mental illness, said the Rev. Mark Breese, agency minister at Community Missions. “This service is an opportunity for the wonderfully diverse faith community in Niagara to come together to pray for both the healing of those living with mental illness, and to call for strong unified advocacy and community action to address the unnecessary injustice our neighbors living with mental illness too often face.”
The service is open to the public, with light refreshments to follow. For more information, contact Rev. Mark Breese at 285-3403, ext. 2259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.