The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Focus on suicide

Jerry and Elsie Weyrauch estimate from national statistics that about 480 ELCA members die by suicide each year.

The ELCA couple lost a 34-year-old physician daughter to suicide 25 years ago. Since then their volunteer-run suicide prevention ministry has raised the issue to a national level.

Telling Secrets: A Path to Abundant Living is a five-DVD educational series from their volunteer-run ministry.

Developed out of a 2010 educational course at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Marietta, Ga., the series shares personal experiences of families affected by mental illness, alcoholism and suicide.

To learn more, contact the Weyrauchs by email.


Brenda Ertl

Brenda Ertl

Posted at 9:52 am (U.S. Eastern) 8/30/2014

How do we as pastors minister to those who are being purscuted by a community due to gossip which has denied them approperiate medical care?  When a community at large deems a person unworthly of medical care and all Christain support except, as one stated, "you only have one friend, a Lutheran Pastor", how can this system be opened to be heard in order to recieve the diagnosis/medications needed? At this point the unworthly one has lost hope in the human race as I alone cannot change a closed community/city sysytem.  I happened to have grown up in this community and know these patterns have been in place since it's formation.  Some say doing something which harms the vulnerable person is the greatest sin, but as a noted person once said, "worse are those good people who do nothing". I continue to walk with this unworthly person, but the hope of others to step out and stop this unhealthly community behaviour leaves me in wondering where is the church/pastors/interfaith memebers are when unheathly behaviour rules in the larger community? How does one find resourses which could make the differnece in this case? Are we pastors only of convenience or the supporters of the culture even when ones life is at stake as this unworthly one?  Who is my neighbor?

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