All posts by Heather Lewsi

July is minority mental health month

This Minority Mental Health Month, NAMI is Raising Awareness About Mental Health in Underrepresented Communities

NAMI Releases Three New Videos in the “Strength Over Silence” Series

Jul 01 2020

Arlington, VA — NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, has the goal of raising awareness about mental health care in underrepresented communities. Our culture, beliefs, sexual identity, values, race and language all affect how we perceive and experience mental health conditions. In fact, cultural differences can influence what treatments, coping mechanisms and supports work for us. It is essential for culture and identity to be a part of the conversation about mental health care.
In 2008, July was designated as the Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month by the U.S. House of Representatives in honor of the leading African American novelist and journalist, who sought to eliminate stigma among diverse communities.
In the wake of both the pandemic and racial violence, there’s the potential for an increase in the number of people impacted by mental health conditions. NAMI’s Statement on Racism emphasizes that the effect of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real. While anyone can experience the challenges of mental illness regardless of their background, facing racial discrimination can significantly worsen symptoms. Additionally, background and identity can make access to mental health treatment much more difficult. Racism is a public health crisis, and we stand with all the families, friends and communities who have lost loved ones and experienced trauma.
To help raise awareness, NAMI is releasing the latest installments of the “Strength Over Silence” video series, highlighting three personal stories featuring courage, culture and community. Yulanda Ming Blackson lives with mental illness and shares her story about mental health and faith in the Black community. Poojah Mehta, a NAMI New York Board member, focuses on amplifying the voices of those in underrepresented communities. And Rosemary Ketchum, the first-ever trans woman to get elected in West Virginia, shares her family experience with mental illness and addresses the need for LGBTIQ+ people to have a voice in the mental health movement.
“We want to raise awareness about disparities in the mental health system – and what we can do about them,” said Daniel H. Gillison, Jr., CEO of NAMI. “Mental health conditions don’t discriminate, and neither should our mental health system. We are calling for systematic change and improved access to culturally competent care, so no one feels alone in their journey.”
The NAMI community is here to help and provide resources. Together, we can help people from underrepresented populations get the mental health care they need. For additional resources, please visit NAMI’s identity and the cultural dimensions of mental health webpage.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
Join the conversation at | | | #NotAlone

Apart, but still a part

Continuing to do God’s work while we are apart from one another.

  • Our community food drive was a huge success! We delivered 1,850 pounds of food to Williston Community Food Shelf!
  • How do we respond to racism? Increase awareness of the history of African Americans in Vermont. Reg Melrose shared the story of Newell Langley, a Vermont farmer and Civil War soldier at Morse Cemetery where he is buried. This community event was well attended in person and on Facebook Live.
  • “Back to School Bags” were delivered to our 30 Sunday School students! Each bag had a personalized bookmark, mask and some other goodies to start this unique school year off right! We are proud of our students!
  • Six Merry Mask Makers from our congregation donated 500 handmade masks to the Williston schools for students to have at the start of this new and very different school year.
  • Several members of the congregation joined in a send off for Dylan before undergoing a procedure in Boston. Even a pandemic cannot stop the love, support, prayers and air hugs we are sending to this family! Dylan Strong!
  • Each week we host a congregational conversation through Zoom entitled “How We Respond to Racism.” At each session, Thursday night at 4pm and 8pm, we share videos and have an open discussion about how we respond to racism in society and in ourselves.
  • Members of our church have been volunteering with Williston Central School’s free summer meal program for all kids in town. Three times a week the school hands out about 560 meals. Each bag pictured has 2 breakfasts & 2 lunches for one child.
  • We have distributed cookies to thank our community leaders for their hard work.
  • On June 21st at noon, our bell rang out for 8.5 minutes in memory of George Floyd.
  • Several members of our congregation have been sewing masks for front line workers and those in need.
  • Our congregation, led by our Missions Committee, continues to provide meals for Dismas House once a month.

Bulletin for 4/5 – Palm Sunday

Williston Federated Church

United Methodist Church and United Church of Christ – Federated 1899

An Open and Affirming, Reconciling Congregation

Mission Statement

Our church is a community which seeks, welcomes and gathers people to share the Gospel of God’s love, enables people to find fullness of life through Jesus Christ, goes into the world to live lovingly and justly as servants of Christ, and responds actively to human need.

Welcome To All Who Worship Here!

Palm Sunday – April 5, 2020 ~ 9:30 A.M.


CALL TO WORSHIP (adapted from Psalm 118) Ashley Dubois, Lay Leader, Williston Federated Church

One: Give thanks! God’s love is constant and devoted to us.

All God’s hope is unfailing in caring for us: through health care workers and researchers; through first-responders and others who help in time of crisis; through teachers offering online lessons, and therapists available around the clock.

One: Give thanks, O give thanks! God is open to all.

All: God hears the cries of those who are forgotten: those who sleep rough in emptied streets; those who are most vulnerable around us; those who have no family to care for them.

One: Give thanks, O give thanks, people of God! God comes to bring us new life.

All: God takes the stone that we have tossed aside and God uses that stone to build the foundation of salvation.

One: This is the day that the LORD has made;

All: Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

PRELUDE Carol Schein



One: Peace be with you

All: Also with you

(copyright permission: #733435-A and CCLI # 176957)


One: When we are so weary we cannot seem to put one foot in front of the other,

All: you take us by the hand, O God of Steadfast Love, so we can join you on a morning walk to hear the songbirds.

One: Even when our fears and frustrations overflow,

All: you teach us how to listen to the hearts which seem to be ignored by everyone, everywhere.

One: When we long to run away from all the worries and uncertainty, O God of Peace,

All: You model for us how to be willing to care for those who suffer. In these moments—and especially in this moment—we turn to you, O God. Amen.

ANTHEM “Rejoice, the King is Coming” by Jon Paige

(performed by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)


SCRIPTURE Matthew 21:1-11

Matthew 21;1-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately” This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

“Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”


May the words of my mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our redeemer. Amen.

SERMON “Spread” Pastor Paul Eyer


Prayer requests can be posted as chat/comments to the video livestream throughWilliston Federated Church Facebook page at or you may send those requests via email to Please remember that if you post your prayer request on Facebook, it can be visible to anyone who visits our church’s Facebook page. And prayer requests shared verbally during our livestream video worship service can be heard by anyone who watches the video of this worship service. If you wish to send confidential prayer requests, address those requests to Pastor Paul at pastoreyer@gmail.


Pastor: Lord of Life and Love,

Congregation: Hear our prayer.



Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever. Amen.


Mail in your offering or get started with ouronline giving. It’s easy!If you’re interested in setting up automatic withdrawals to make your gifts, please contact Matt Bliss who can invite you to set up an account with our online church membership software called Realm.  When logged in, select the “Giving” menu on the left hand side and the “+ Give” button on the next screen.  Then, enter your giving details and payment information to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account.  Select one of the pledge accounts (e.g. Pledge Jul xxxx to Jun xxxx).  Frequency should be set to monthly on the 15th.  You can follow the same process to make one time contributions too.  If you have any questions, contact Matt Bliss at Thank you for your generosity!)


*Presentation of Gifts:

We give thee but thine own, What e’er the gift may be:
All that we have is thine alone, A trust, O Lord, from thee.


O God, may our gifts bring hope and healing, peace and plenty, in your name and in your love. Amen.


virtual” coffee hour/fellowship time via Zoom following worship today

–online Maundy Thursday worship service via Facebook Live on Thursday, April 9 at 7:00 p.m.

–online Good Friday worship service via Facebook Live on Friday, April 10 at 7:00 p.m.

–online Easter Sunday worship services via Facebook on Sunday, April 12:

at 6:30 a.m., Son-rise Easter Service led by Williston Federated Youth

at 9:30 a.m., Easter Sunday service led by Pastor Paul

CLOSING HYMN “Hosanna, Loud Hosanna” UMC hymnal #278

(led remotely by Martin and Donna Sue Hain)

(copyright permission: #733435-A and CCLI # 176957)


Liturgical resources: The Call to Worship and the Prayer of the Day are adapted from “Liturgy of the Palms for these days (April 2020), by Thom Shuman, found at, accessed on 3 April 2020. The Prayer of Dedication is adapted from “A Liturgy for worship in a time of pandemic (Lent 5-A)” by Thom Shuman, “ Lectionary Liturgies” found at, accessed on 26 March 2020.