Episcopal Mental & Spiritual Health Crisis Ministry Website: njmindspirit.org
May 4, 2021: Episcopal dioceses in New Jersey expand “Warm Line” eligibility
The COVID-19 pandemic, along with its disproportionate illness and death in communities of color; national economic instability; and our country’s reckoning with systemic racism and oppression, all converged to make pastoral ministry an immense challenge today. Throughout the state of New Jersey, Episcopal Church leaders are trying to cope with the ongoing pandemic, pastoral care needs, and the everyday realities of managing a parish.
In an effort to help respond to this stress, the Episcopal Mental and Spiritual Health Crisis Ministry (EMSHCM) of the Dioceses of Newark and New Jersey launched a new ministry last fall to help Episcopal clergy throughout the state connect with appropriate mental and spiritual health providers. Many resources—for laypeople as well as clergy—are provided on the ministry’s website, njmindspirit.org.
However, clergy are not the only congregational leaders experiencing stress due to COVID-19. Effective on May 1st, EMSHCM expanded the centerpiece of its ministry, the “Warm Line,” to include Wardens and Treasurers, as well as members of the clergy. Episcopal Church leaders may call the warm line in order to speak with a licensed counselor who will listen, offer support, and provide a referral for additional help, if needed. All calls are kept confidential.
The Warm Line’s operating hours are Wednesdays: 10 am to 12 pm; and Fridays: 4 pm to 6 pm. The Warm Line may be accessed by calling 609-365-WARM (9276). Calls received outside of those hours will go to voice mail, and the call will be returned on the next business day. If anyone is experiencing a mental health emergency, they should call 911 or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
The Episcopal Mental and Spiritual Health Crisis Ministry of the Dioceses of Newark and New Jersey is a joint ministry of the Episcopal Dioceses of Newark and New Jersey. The EMSHCM was established as an offshoot of the COVID-19 Task Force, which was begun by the Rt. Rev. Carlye Hughes (Bishop of Newark) and the Rt. Rev. Chip Stokes (Bishop of New Jersey).
For more information, please call the Director of the Warm Line, Dr. Rosalie DiSimone-Weiss at 732-548-6359 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear sister and brother clergy in the Dioceses of Newark and New Jersey,
The COVID-19 Pandemic, along with its disproportionate illness and death in communities of color, national economic instability, and our country’s reckoning with systemic racism and oppression, all converge to make pastoral ministry such an immense challenge today. As well, if you are both clergy and a parent responsible for your child’s remote learning and care, these challenges must seem even more difficult; perhaps even overwhelming to navigate.
Many clergy report feelings of fatigue, worry, stress and all the anxiety which comes from uncertainty. Many feel the agitations of mind, spirit and emotions in performing the tasks of ministry in so many new ways: from wrestling with technology to the helplessness that comes when we can’t minister to others as we feel called to do. Still other clergy report feelings of outright depression, hopelessness, and despair.
You are not alone. If you are experiencing such feelings, help is available through the “Warm Line” operated by the Episcopal Mental and Spiritual Health Crisis Ministry of the Dioceses of Newark and New Jersey, which began operating on Friday, October 2, 2020.
Our sister Dioceses of Newark and New Jersey have created a new ministry with an array of resources to assist clergy with mental and spiritual health self-care. One key resource we offer is the opportunity to talk to a trained and experienced counselor who can listen to you, accompany you, support you, and also refer you to additional help, if indicated.
Simply call the telephone number highlighted below, and you will be directed to a caring, competent, experienced, and wise counselor to offer you help and referrals. If you call outside of those hours, please leave a message and your call will be returned during the next time of operation. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911 or contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides a live person and resources in times of crisis.
Episcopal Mental & Spiritual Health Crisis Ministry Website: www.njmindspirit.org
Warm Line Hours of Operation: Wednesdays, 10 am-12 pm; Fridays, 4 pm to 6 pm
Telephone Number: 609-365-WARM (9276)
We are here for you! We repeat—you are not alone.
Jesus invites his disciples to love our neighbor, as we love ourselves.
Please call for help today if you need it!
The Episcopal Mental and Spiritual Health Crisis Ministry of the Dioceses of Newark and New Jersey