Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 9:35-36 NIV
First, and foremost, the Well Community is a gathering based on a common faith and journey. Our very name comes from the book of John, chapter four: Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob. In the same way, we seek to lead others to meet Jesus. He is our guide and we believe that he alone is the source of life: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). We have come to know that sharing in his life is the best: “I have come to bring life – and life to the fullest!” (John 10:10). Therefore, we seek to share his life with others: “In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4)
Friendship and Community
For most of us our relationships are taken for granted. Yet with the addition of a mental illness, their creation and maintenance can be hindered. The symptoms of mental illness – e.g., paranoia, nervousness, depression, etc. – work against healthy relationships. Therefore, friendship has been a foundational value here at the Well Community. We seek to offer a place of belonging for people living with mental illness, providing opportunities for acquaintance and companionship. Our programming provides a place to know others and be known.
We believe that programs, in and of themselves, don’t change people. God sent Jesus to earth and he did not stay off afar; but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, and he became flesh and made his dwelling among us (Philippians 2:7, John 1:14a). Therefore, we seek to emulate and develop this value through an environment of acceptance and community.
Mental Health Stability
The Well Community seeks to be a place of belonging for those who struggle with severe and chronic mental illnesses.
The process toward stability begins with a belief and hope that improvement and health is possible. The process includes gaining the knowledge to reclaim the power to achieve one’s desires by learning to make choices that bring strength rather than harm. Restoring dignity involves living a meaningful life with the capacity to love and be loved.
We envision a community where…
- life, in all its fullness, is encouraged and imparted.
- people can truly belong; where everyone knows everyone else’s name; where community members are missed if they are gone for too long; where all are welcome no matter their racial, socio-economic or religious backgrounds.
- people find help, experience change and discover answers; where destructive lifestyles, habits, addictions and compulsions are abandoned; where wasted lives are retrieved and new beginnings are launched.
- life transformation and recovery is sought with expectancy; where mental illness is understood with empathy and compassion; where some are healed forever of the confusion in their brains, while others progressively advance in their own recovery process, and yet others are simply embraced in the midst of their illness.
- people are encouraged to reach their full potential; where individuals are empowered through volunteer opportunities and vocational programs; where laughter and good fun is infused in every activity; where community members are trained and developed to be actively and personally involved in the organizational life of the community.
- God is worshiped joyfully and reverently; where his Word is taught, studied and obeyed; where prayer is the undergirding for all we do and for every initiative we take; where all kinds of people serve God in various ways.
- the good news of God is the underlying theme; where grace is accepted and extended; where love for people springs from love for God; where joy permeates the air; where people are one in spirit.
Mental Health America – www.mentalhealthamerica.net
Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation – www.bu.edu/cpr
Wellness Recovery Action Program (WRAP) – www.mentalhealthrecovery.com
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) – www.nccam.nih.gov
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) – www.nimh.nih.gov
National Alliance on Mental Illness – www.nami.org
Grace Alliance (Waco, Texas) – www.mentalhealthgracealliance.org