Episode 149, a.k.a. our “Wild Goose Festival 2022 Episode,” finds Charles, Chris, and Helena discussing faith and mental health with our guest, the Rev. Thirza Sayers of Light for the Darkness. Light for the Darkness provides a safe place for those with mental health variances to explore where God is in the midst. The ministry seeks to build hope and foster Spirit-led connections among members, connecting members to mental health resources as necessary. They provide worshipful support groups that allow people to come with their faith, doubts, joy, and sadness, to be heard, and to connect with others who understand. Check out this video about this vital ministry.
Thirza currently serves at Hillside Presbyterian (Missouri), leads Light for the Darkness, a mental health ministry and 1001 New Worshiping Community, and co-leads Our Selah, a 1001 New Worshiping Community for clergy. She is working on her Doctorate in Ministry (Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary), researching what hope looks like for people with mental health variances. She has lived with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder since 1992. In 2013 following a cluster of traumas, including the suicide of her niece and namesake, she developed disabling PTSD and severe social anxiety. She became catatonic and lost most of her memory, including her vocabulary, as a side effect of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). She began her journey out of darkness through a combination of daily prayer, yoga, gratitude and affirmations, weekly counseling and connections with friends, monthly psychiatry, and volunteerism with her therapy-certified dog. Slowly, she built strength and, in 2017, returned to work part-time. Now she is blessed to do ministry full-time.
Click HERE to give this episode a listen. To skip our opening mishigas, start listening at the 11:10 mark.