BLUUMin Pastoral Care

Black folks, UU or otherwise, requesting pastoral and/or spiritual care can reach our Community Minister and folks from the Black Lives of UU Ministerial Network by calling or texting 984-219-8711. This is a Google Voice number that we check daily. We will respond to any calls or text messages within 24 hours.

Pastoral care is a model of emotional and spiritual support that can be found in all cultures and traditions. People who provide pastoral care offer support to people in the joys, sorrows, and uncertainties associated with specific life events occurring while a part of the community in which pastoral caregivers serve.

For BLUU’s Ministerial Network, “spirit” simply (and with much complexity) implies energy, connection, and power. Spirituality, by extension, is both an awareness of our relationships to and with everything and everyone around us, including ourselves, and an appreciation of purpose, presence, and meaning-making of the world as we understand it and beyond our understanding. Spiritual care is a mutli-faceted model of support in individuals’ search for meaning, purpose, wholeness, and connection in day-to-day life

Because providing or receiving pastoral or spiritual care is not dependent on any one set of beliefs or traditions, pastoral care and spiritual care providers make a commitment to relate gently and skilfully with individuals’, their sense of self and emotional and spiritual resources.

If you believe that pastoral and/or spiritual care and support is what you need, the BLUU Ministerial Network would like for you to keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • We are not counselors or therapists. Therapists and counselors provide mental health support related to short- and long-term issues that require care beyond the usual one or two meetings that pastoral care calls for. Even if one of our Ministerial Network members is a licensed counselor or therapist, in this context, they can not serve in that capacity.

  • Pastoral and spiritual care responds to immediate spiritual needs of persons impacted by present-day wonderings, and concerns. If, in the process of receiving pastoral or spiritual care, your story and concerns move into incidents and experiences that happened a year or more ago, you may be moving into a place where therapy will be more effective than pastoral care.

  • The ministry of presence is deeply powerful work. It often happens that our primary role in providing pastoral care is just to simply listen and hold space for whatever is going on in that moment. Our role is not to fix people or situations, but to be present and provide the kind of space that individuals can access all their available senses to find peace and understanding.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis that requires immediate help, or are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call 1-800-273-TALK. This number will direct you to the Mental Health Crisis Hotline and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

SUICIDE PREVENTION RESOURCES

According to a May 2018 article, suicides among black children under 18 are up 71 percent nationwide in the past decade, rising from 86 in 2006 to 147 in 2016, the latest year such data is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In that same period, the suicide rate among all children also increased, up 64 percent.

Researchers aren't sure what has fueled the slightly larger rise for black children. Some speculate that those affected by racism might be at greater risk. Another factor could be the notion that suicide isn't a problem in the black community, hindering prevention efforts.

This information, alone, makes it critical that we provide meaningful resources for suicide prevention to this community and across age-ranges and demographics. Below, please find suicide hotlines relevant to various experiences and needs.

  • Crisis Text Line - Text HOME To 741741: Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis and for whom speaking with someone feels like too much. You will be connected to trained Crisis Counselors.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-TALK (8255): The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

  • Trans Lifeline - US: 877-565-8860 & Canada: 877-330-6366: Trans Lifeline is a national trans-led organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education.

  • Trevor Lifeline - 1-866-488-7386: A national 24-hour, toll free confidential suicide hotline for LGBTQ youth.