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Community Missions, NFMMC announce annual Interfaith Community Prayer Service for mental illness recovery & understanding

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Wed, Sep 26th 2018 12:00 pm
Pictured is the Rev. Mark Breese, agency minister at Community Missions, at last year's interfaith service. (File photo)
Pictured is the Rev. Mark Breese, agency minister at Community Missions, at last year's interfaith service. (File photo)
Community Missions Inc. and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, a pair of prominent mental health service providers, will again join to host the eighth annual Interfaith Community Prayer Service at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9.
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. Raymond Allen, pastor of Bethany Missionary Baptist Church and president of the Niagara Ministerial Council
•Dinah Porter - Community and cultural adviser of the All Our Relations Project, Native American Community Services of Erie & Niagara Counties
•Rabbi Ellen Franke and Bill Bell - Temple Beth El in Niagara Falls
•Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. - President emeritus, Niagara University
•Rev. Raphael Barberg - St. George Orthodox Church, Niagara Falls
•Kuldip Singh Cheema - President, Niagara Sikh Association
•Joyce Sconiers - Niagara Wellness Connection Center and God's Woman Vanessa Scott Outreach Ministries
Music will be provided by Judy Maggs and the Rev. Matt Kofahl of St. James United Methodist Church, and music teacher Mary Kofahl of Cataract Elementary School.
One in five adults experience mental illness problems every year. Although many people understand mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by it are still often subjected to discrimination.
"We hope this service creates a moment where the community can come together to acknowledge the reality that those living with mental illness face a struggle that goes beyond the illness itself," said the Rev. Mark Breese, agency minister at Community Missions. "We need to show our solidarity by opposing a stigma that prevents people from seeking treatment, hinders recovery, and marginalizes our family, friends and neighbors who struggle with their mental health."
The service is open to the public, with light refreshments to follow. For more information, contact Mark Breese at 716-285-3403, ext. 2259, or [email protected].

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