Calvary Christian offers helping hand for ‘diseases of despair’

Published 7:00 am Friday, September 3, 2021

Mike McCormick, the lead pastor at Calvary Christian Church in Winchester, said he has seen “an exponential increase” in members of his congregation suffering from depression and anxiety.

The congregation at Calvary is not alone.

Numerous medical studies published over the last year have found an upward trend in American adults and children who reported that they suffered from some form of mental health distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other events.

McCormick said that the church wants to help and is currently offering small groups on Wednesdays starting at 6:45 p.m. specifically for that purpose.

“Back in the springtime, we took a survey of our congregation,” McCormick said on how the church arrived at its topical decision. “We said ‘We know this has been a uniquely difficult season with COVID and lot of other challenges related to that, and we just wanted to know what would be helpful for people right now?’”

McCormick said that of over 100 congregates surveyed, “diseases of despair” was the number one selection followed by how to handle marital discord.

“I think that there has been a lot of additional stress on families right now trying to figure out different work schedules, financial pressures and trying to get the kids to school. It’s (the pandemic) is interrupting a lot of their normal lives,” McCormick said.

The church currently offers separate classes for women and men dealing with anxiety issues or ones that deal with issues such as anger or grief. In addition to a study of the Book of Mark, the church is offering a class on spiritual formation.

McCormick said he is especially excited about the course focused on marriage.

“We have somebody from the outside, some actual experts, professional counselors from Montgomery County, Travis and Marcy Drake,” he said.

“They are offering a free marriage class.”

Anyone from outside the congregation is welcome to join one of the four-month courses, McCormick said, and the only cost is a minimal fee to purchase course content.

The main point of it all, though, is to remind people that they do not have to struggle alone.

“Whatever people are going through, isolation only makes it worse,” McCormick said. “So I think it takes a step of courage to show up at a group like this, but it is really helpful and really vital for people to take that step. Part of our being healthy, whatever we have going on, is having some traveling companions for the journey.”

To see a full list of current small group course offerings please visit the church’s website at www.calvarychristian.net/group-information.