"There's so much silence around suicide in the church that it is quite literally killing us." -- Rachael Keefe
Would you know how to respond if the person sitting next to you in your pew was contemplating suicide? Every year, millions of people engage in suicidal activity, including those in our faith communities. Yet the Church remains largely silent around the topics of mental health, depression, and suicide prevention. How can you and your faith community be prepared to recognize and respond to those struggling for their very lives in your church?
In The Lifesaving Church, pastor Rachael Keefe shatters the taboo of suicide by sharing her own painful story of life-long depression and suicidality--and how her various faith communities responded, for better and for worse. Opening a window into her suicidal behaviors as a young person, Keefe helps us recognize the signs and struggles of those who suffer silently. Reminding us of the Church's call to be the Body of Christ for each other, Keefe empowers us to recognize the hurting in our communities and recover the lifesaving message of the Gospel -- forgiveness, acceptance and love -- that helped her to heal.
With chapters on how to educate your church in suicide prevention, group study reflections around the common questions surrounding suicide, and specific resources, scriptures, and prayers for clergy, suicide loss survivors, and those struggling with suicidality, The Lifesaving Church is critical reading for faith communities seeking abundant life for all of its members.
About the Author
Rachael A. Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ (UCC) in the Twin Cities and a former clinical chaplain. Since being ordained by the UCC in 1992, Rachael has served in many different ministry settings both traditional and decidedly nontraditional, in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Minnesota. She has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological School, another Masters degree (ThM) from Princeton, in Christian Education and Counseling, and a doctoral degree (DMin) from Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School. Rachael is a pastor, an author, a painter, and a poet. On sunny afternoons you might see her with her easel at a local park or river walkway.