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The focus this month is on mental health. Prior to the pandemic, mental health was a significant issue for communities in our region, and is now even more critical. Learn how others are responding and how you can be in mission today.


  • Jana Jones, Abundant Health Coordinator shares information and resources that are available to the local church to support those coping with mental health challenges


  • Rev. Ryan Canaday, Lead Pastor of Free Spiritual Community, and Matt Salis with Stigma provide recovery support to those on their journey with addiction


  • Pandemically Resilient ... How are you holding up?
  • Mental Health First Aid and QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) a suicide prevention program


  • Take the survey and find out what it takes to be an Abundant Health church and why Faith Community Nursing could be an option for you.


  • UMCOR Cleaning Bucket Challenge continues through October!
  • Call for Connecting Neighbors Leader


Photo of Jana Jones

Jana Jones is the Abundant Health Coordinator for the Mountain Sky Conference. As part of the Mission Team, Jana coordinates the Abundant Health grants and supports the Conference in Abundant Health initiatives.

Watch these videos online from Jana Jones, Abundant Health Coordinator and Abundant Health UMC

Logo for UMC Abundant Health's Mind, Body, Spirit

Abundant Health offers a holistic approach: Mind.Body.Spirit.

This month we focus on Mind: Vibrant Mental Health. Helping people identify, treat, cope with and overcome their mental health challenges is something that will increase their quality of life, not only because the church offers them encouragement, but also because congregations are a community of hope that will provide strength on their journey of healing.

Mental Health Fast facts:

  • 50 percent of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14 and 75% by the age of 24
  • 800,000 people die from suicide globally each year (1 death every 40 seconds)
  • 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness

Explore the Abundant Health website to find a health ministry that aligns with your church mission: Go to Health Ministry Resources

Find links to PDFs below to promote Abundant Health for your local church website and/or newsletter!


The stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed increased stress on everyone. When coping with that stress increases alcohol and other substance use, finding a trusted program for recovery is critical. Below, we highlight two programs in the Denver area.

FREE is a community for Addicts, Loved Ones of Addicts, and Spiritual Refugees breaking the silence on addiction while creating space for healing, recovery, and spiritual connection.

Photo of Ryan CanadayThe Rev. Ryan Canaday, Lead Pastor of Free, writes on its website, “I have been sober since January 7, 2013. God has removed from me the obsession of the drink and I now know a new way of life. My 'why', my calling, the thing that gets me out of bed, is as clear as ever: to help others find God and beauty in the midst of mess and brokenness.” Learn more about Canaday’s ministry on the Free Spiritual Community website.

In the March 25 episode of Vital Conversations, we hear how to care for people, particularly those walking in recovery. Canaday shares some best practices and ideas on how to be the church in such a time as this.

Photo of Matt Salis for StigmaStigma is a Denver-based nonprofit, whose mission is to crush the stigma associated with alcoholism and provides non-traditional approaches to recovery from alcohol dependency.

Matt Salis writes boldly about alcoholism and Stigma’s untraditional recovery programs: “Alcoholism is an epidemic and a mental health tragedy, and COVID-19 is escalating the crisis to new heights. Our traditional recovery methods are failing us, and it is time for a new and better mousetrap. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. We treat addiction in much the same way we treated it 80 years ago, and the 15 million American alcoholics (more people than are fighting cancer) deserve better. I'll let you in on a little secret. Alcoholism is not just a spiritual deficiency. That's a bold statement to make to such a spiritual crowd. I hope you'll continue reading and give me a chance to explain."

Read more about Stigma on the Mountain Sky Conference website

Learn more about Stigma on its website | Matt Salis, 303-204-1412


Graphic for Pandemic ResiliencyPandemically Resilient:

Rev. Patrick Lewis asks How are you holding up? No, really, do you feel like the world is closing in on you, or are you one of the people who can seemingly bounce back every day and face this world with a smile? It is true, we have so much to be grateful for, but many of us are beginning to fatigue under the stresses of day to day obstacles we are being called to address. So, when someone asks how it is with our soul, we find it difficult to answer because we do not know. How are we supposed to be during this time and space in life?

Read more of this insightful article and take the resiliency quiz online

For more information read Resilient, by Rick Hanson, pub. Rider ©2018

Picture credits:

To find help near you, go to

Mental Health First Aid Training:

Graphic for Mental Health First AidMost often we at home know if a friend or loved one is suffering from depression or other brain health issues but unlike other physical illnesses, we do not know how to provide “first aid” to the person in need.

With the help of an Abundant Health Grant and generous sponsors, First UMC Windsor, CO hosted a Youth Mental Health First Aid training. Read more about the program and comments from those who participated in the training.

Find a Mental Health First Aid training class near you at:

QPR Suicide Prevention Training:

The QPR mission is to reduce suicidal behaviors and save lives by providing innovative, practical and proven suicide prevention training. The signs of crisis are all around us. We believe that quality education empowers all people, regardless of their background, to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know. Go to the QPR Suicide Prevention website

Photo of Paul BretzRev. Dr. Paul Bretz discussed Suicide Prevention QPR Training (Question, Persuade, Refer) in this episode of Vital Conversations recorded on Sept. 2. While this conversation was primarily focused on suicide prevention, it is relevant to anyone who is concerned about mental health and addiction related issues.


BREAKING NEWS: John Wesley Hoops for Abundant Health!

Graphic of a John Wesley impersonator hula hoopingSeen here, “John Wesley, a strong proponent of preventive care and healthy living, gives Methodism a long history of engaging in ministry that supports mind, body and spirit.”

Take the Survey! “Keep the tradition going by building a strong health ministry presence in your church”. Take this online survey to help you determine if you are an Abundant Health Church!

Would your faith community benefit from a Faith Community Nurse?

Wellness is a simple word, yet one that can be defined in so many ways. Our spiritual, physical, mental and emotional health are inextricably linked, so how can we tend to all the dimensions of health and wellness in our faith communities? This is where Faith Community Nursing steps in. Read more about Faith Community Nursing


SUBSCRIBE: Be a part of creating abundant health for all by subscribing to Experience Abundant Health, a free e-newsletter! You'll receive bi-weekly ideas, important updates and resources designed to inspire mental, physical and spiritual well-being in your congregation and your community. Subscribe online!

Be a beacon of holistic well-being! Discover ideas for health ministry efforts that will inspire and support your community on their journey to embrace abundant mental, physical, and spiritual health. Get ideas online for Mind. Body. Spirit.

Additional Suicide Prevention Resources:


UMCOR Cleaning Bucket Challenge – Churches across the conference participate in assembling or donating to Cleaning Buckets. Read more in this UMCOR Call to Action – October 2020

Connecting Neighbors Conference Leader – The Mountain Sky Conference Disaster Committee is seeking an individual to lead efforts to grow the implementation of the Connecting Neighbors program across the conference. This leader will be asked to promote, and present the program at churches and other events across the conference, while empowering others to do the same. In addition, the leader will be the focal point for information and updates concerning this program for the Conference.


  • Conference Secretary to GBGM: Kathryn Witte
  • Abundant Health: Jana Jones
  • Blackfeet United Methodist Parish: Rev. Calvin Hill
  • Disaster Response: Rev. Dawn Maurer-Skerritt
  • Early Response Team: Jim Robison-Cox
  • East Angola Advocacy: Sally McConnell
  • UMVIM Coordinator: Stephanie Moffitt
  • UMVIM Trainer: Debbie Irby Stone
  • Member: Ken Daniell
  • Member: Melissa Martin
  • Member: Jeff Wakeley
  • Staff:
    • Janet Mulroy, Mission Engagement and Resource Strategist
    • Betty Nguyen, Multicultural and Advocacy Ministries Developer
    • Dawn Lemons, Program Assistant/Resource Coordinator for Congregational and Community Vitality

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The Mountain Sky Conference of The United Methodist Church
6110 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Greenwood Village, CO 80111
303-733-3736 |