New book chosen for Mennonites to read together
HARRISONBURG, VA — Mennonite Church USA, Mennonite Church Canada, and Herald Press began partnering in September 2020 to encourage Mennonites to engage in a “common read,” a shared reading experience focused on specific books written to nurture Christian faith in this cultural moment.
The Common Read continues April–June 2022 with Not Quite Fine: Mental Health, Faith, and Showing Up for One Another by Carlene Hill Byron. Common Read participants can join the author on a live Zoom event on Tuesday, May 3, at 7 p.m. ET. Registration for the event is available here. Not Quite Fine can be purchased from MennoMedia, CommonWord, and other retailers.
At no other time in history have so many people understood themselves to be suffering from mental health problems. Medicines and therapies have their roles in supporting those who live with mental health problems or mental illness, but the church can also be a strong support. Byron offers practical ways the church can promote healthier mental states for everyone, including those who struggle with mental health challenges.
“Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that half of all Americans will be diagnosable with a mental illness in their lifetime,” writes Byron. “More than one in six of us takes a prescribed psychiatric medication.”
Carlene Hill Byron is a fundraiser and communicator for nonprofits that serve people with disabilities and other profound life challenges. The former editor of New England Church Life and the New England Christian, she is a spiritual wellness volunteer in the Maine Health hospital system and is active in her Lutheran church. She has been medically treated for depression or bipolar disorder since the age of 19, with doctors attempting more than 20 different medications to contain her symptoms. Find her online at The Mighty, Mad in America, The Redbud Post, and The Church and Mental Illness.
Previous Common Read selections include Tongue-Tied by Sara Wenger Shenkand Been in the Struggle by Regina Shands Stoltzfus and Tobin Miller Shearer.
Free downloadable study guides are available for Not Quite Fine on the MennoMedia and Herald Press websites. To schedule an interview with Carlene Hill Byron, contact LeAnn Hamby at 540‑908‑3941 or [email protected].