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Shawn Roberson, with CenterPoint Human Services, participates in the workshop "Soul Shop: Ministering to
Suicidal Desperation" on April 21.
"Soul Shop: Ministering to Suicidal Desperation" helps faith-based community members identify suicidal
people and assist them through conversations.
from page S5
office on Deacon Boulevard.
Northwest Area Health Education
Center is an educational outreach and
training program designed to enhance
the health of the public in its 17-coun
CareNet says there is a rising tide
of suicide in the area. Soul Shop is a
suicide prevention training program
and includes a daylong training ses
sion specifically designed to train
church leaders, cleigy, program staff,
lay ministers, office staff and faith
based therapists to detect the signs of
someone contemplating suicide and
possibly save his or her life. The pro
gram also trains church leaders how
to minister to surviving family mem
bers after a suicide and offers
advanced training on the subject.
The issues are, how do you iden
tify people who are thinking about
suicide and how do church leaders
and lay people help someone who is
thinking about it?
"You have to ask the question,"
said Fe Anam Avis, the facilitator for
the workshop. He is with the
Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute, which
administers Soul Shop training. He
uses the Bible throughout the training
to show that "God CALLS us to min
ister to those impacted by suicidal
desperation." He used the acronym
CALL: Commit, Ask, Listen and
Lead to safety and leave in good
If you find out that someone is
suicidal, what would you do? Avis led
those who attended the workshop
through steps in helping suicidal peo
ple through various conversation
points and allowed the partici
pants to create public prayers that
included the word suicide. He
warned that often it takes a long time
for people to overcome suicidal des
One of the phrases used in the
training is Second Day people. These
are people who have overcome suici
dal desperation. Saulpaugh is one.
She said it took her 18 months to
overcome her suicidal desperation.
She said a therapist similar to ones at
CareNet Counseling saved her life.
Saulpaugh said the response to
the four Soul Shop workshops "has
Shawn Roberson, who attended
the workshop, is another Second Day
person. She is with CenterPoint
Human Services, a nonprofit that
oversees all the behavioral providers
and Medicaid. The nonprofit has a
division that offers an emergency
response to people who plan to kill
Roberson said working with sui
cidal people when she was like that
"is no problem." It took her three
years to overcome her suicidal des
peration. She said she did it with a
supportive church family, the teach
ing at the church and a lot of prayer,
affirmations, declarations and "a lot
of psychological thoughts taught
about the mind."
She said she stood on the Bible
verse Psalm 118:17: "I shall not die,
but live, and declare the works of the
Avis presented a section of the
workshop devoted to working with
families of people who have commit
ted suicide. He said family members
who are left behind after people com
mit suicide are more likely to commit
suicide than those who have not expe
rienced suicide it) the family.
The Rev. Kathy Johnson, pastor
of Greater Shekinah Glory Church in
Hickory, said her church brought peo
ple to the workshop because "we real
ize that this is an epidemic." She
wants to equip herself and church.
Soul Shop training material
Training material related to the workshop "Soul Shop: Ministering to Suicidal Desperation" can be pur
chased through Barbara Saulpaugh, regional director with CareNet Counseling, for $30. She says the
Soul Shop training will return to the area at some point. Contact her at 336-716-0854 (phone); 336-716
0822 (fax); or firstname.lastname@example.org (email).
firm page B5
they could be interpreted as any who were powerless, vul
nerable, or spiritually immature. Continuing His teaching,
Jesus makes it clear that sin should be dealt with prudent
ly. He warned of disastrous consequences of enticing oth
ers to sin and to also be careful in the way they handled
circumstances in which their fellow believers committed
misdeeds. The circumstances were not to be ignored, nor.
allowed to harden the faith community against the offend
ers. But those who were wronged were to censure the
believer who sinned. The purpose of this is to lead the
wayward believer to repentance ... to ultimately experi
ence a change in heart that will result in a character of
virtue and integrity. Jesus taught the disciples that forgiv
ing should be extended an inexhaustible number of times.
This is possible however, only when we ask the Lord to do
the forgiving through us. The disciples were urged to live
responsibly. They honestly acknowledged their own
weakness and asked Jesus to increase their faith (Luke
17:5) Jesus told them to make effective use of the faith
they already had because it was anchored to their belief in
Him (Luke 17:6). Jesus proceeded to touch on dutiful
service of a disciple. Noting that Christians are to be like
servants who are willing do their tasks, disciples are suc
cessful when they surrender to His will. He also pointed
out that genuine humility was a mark of Christlikeness
and humility was not to be used as an excuse for refusing
to do their best. Not only is yoyr.best expected, but with
the attitude as though die labor was for the Lord. (David
C. Cook, Bible Lesson Commentary 2015-16)
For Your Consideration: What is so terrible about
causing other believers to stumble spiritually? What does
it mean to be a humble servant in God's kingdom?
Life's Application: Don't entice other believers to
sin, forgive those who repent of their wrongdoing, use the
faith you have and perform the duties you have with
humility. That sounds like a lot, but it's what God expects
of us. We are expected to be equitable and responsible in
ministering to others and we accomplish this by entrusting
our lives to Christ. Our hearts and minds must be willing
and ready to obey Christ in all.
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