Clergy Faith & Wellness: You are not alone

Rev. Shelly Petz


One in five people will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.

May is Mental Health Month.

Most of the clergy that I have talked with in the past two months have experienced challenges that affect their mental health and well-being.

If you are experiencing a mental health challenge, you are not alone.

If you, or someone you know is experiencing a mental health challenge, or if you just need a mental health check-in or boost, I invite you to join with the Rev. Ashlee Alley Crawford, clergy recruitment and development coordinator, and me as we welcome Seanne Emerton to a Zoom conversation for clergy for a mental health check-in on at 3 pm. Thursday, May 21. This is a free session designed for clergy, recognizing the particularities of your ministry, challenges, stresses and current situations. You can register here for this call.

Seanne is a licensed marriage and family therapist, a licensed independent mental health practitioner, and a life skills coach. She is especially interested in spirituality and health and the study of resilience. Seanne enjoys working with United Methodist clergy and looks forward to sharing the time with you.

I had the opportunity to spend three days with Seanne at a retreat last fall. It was an incredible gift to me as a pastor to have that much time with a licensed mental health professional who understands and works with clergy. I gained access to language and tools for my own well-being that continue to speak to me every day. I came away from the time dreaming of a way to help connect her work with clergy across the Great Plains. Now this opportunity is available to each of you, either live or it will be recorded and available for you to listen to at a later time.

Also, the Great Plains Conference has an established Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with New Directions, an organization that offers a full range of behavioral health solutions. Clergy serving three-quarters to full time for local churches or the conference, plus their dependents and lay conference staff working 30 hours or more and their dependents, have this benefit.

EAP benefits with New Direction provides tools and resources to help overcome life challenges for you and your dependents free of charge, including counseling (eight free sessions), legal and financial services.

Print out the brochure for detailed information.

You can go online to or call 800-624-5544.

The company code for the Great Plains Conference is greatplainsumc.

I am one who has utilized and benefited from the EAP.  I am grateful to the Great Plains Conference for making this possible.  If you use it, you are not alone.

Grace and peace,

Rev. Shelly Petz

Clergy Faith and Wellness