(April 14, 2007)

Yesterday we had a meeting of our Living Room group. And once more, as always, I had a wonderful feeling after – a quietly joyful feeling (I call it “holy joy”). And that feeling is still somewhat with me, though of course, gradually fading. But I’m happy and positive and I value that, especially after some of the hard times I’ve had recently.

Twelve of us were in attendance. I don’t know if I’ve ever described our setting here so will do it here: We try to make things as warm and cozy as we can though we meet in a big church hall. We place three long tables together to make a square table, cover it with a table cloth and place a candelabra with four candles in the center. Everyone helps themselves to lunch as they arrive then sit at the table to visit until the meeting is ready to begin. There are always dishes of chocolates handy. Yesterday we munched on Kisses: milk chocolate and “healthy” dark chocolate ones.

We start out with prayer, then discuss something that arises from Scripture – some topic that has a bearing on what we experience with our moods. Often it’s the Psalms (because I believe David was one of us). Yesterday we discussed love and whether we’re able to give and receive love when we’re depressed. I was pleased because almost everyone contributed to the discussion, even our pastor who usually tries to keep a low profile.

After a break and helping ourselves to more food, we split into two groups. Here members have an opportunity to talk about what is happening in their lives and any struggles they might be having. Before going home we pray for each individual present.

Living Room is a safe, loving, Christian place for people to receive encouragement and find out they’re not alone. I’m happy with how my dream is turning out and want to encourage other churches to offer this kind of peer support group. It’s a great way for churches to help support those with mood disorders.

This weekend I will work on an article about Living Room for BC Christian News, a paper that goes to all the churches in this area.