West Heights UMC offers mental health internship


Reported by Jacob McCarty, mccartyjacob6614@gmail.com
West Heights UMC, Wichita, KS

Project Summary

Did your project go as expected?
No, my project went better than expected!

Which of the 5 earmarks of Culture of Call did this project address? How?
  • Discernment events/experiences - Yes
  • Personal exploration - Yes
  • Mentoring - Yes
  • Spiritual nurture - Yes
  • Community expression of supporting individual calls - Yes
For discernment events/experiences, I had weekly meetings with the associate pastor about my spiritual growth. For personal exploration, I got to experience all different forms of ministry. From throwing youth events, to doing a sermon, and sitting in on funeral planning, I got to experience a wide variety of activities. For mentoring, I got the chance to work in the preschool teaching them how to connect with God. For spiritual nature, I would have a weekly 20 minute silent prayer with a group of members of our church. For community expression of supporting individual calls, I shared my experiences and story with my congregation as well as organized a community event.

Who was the primary audience of your project?

How did you use the funds?
The funds were used to pay for my internship at the church.

Will the project that you undertook be continued? How?
Yes, I want to continue my work of making mental illness a more talked about subject. I am going to continue to have meetings to discuss mental illness and social justice work in the church and in my community. This is important to keep having these conversations. I made many community contacts though weekly meetings set up by the church. I plan to continue my relationships with these people.

How did this project cultivate a culture of call in your church or district?
I started the conversation and helped people see the need of change in our community. Sharing my struggles helped inspire others to take action with me as we continue to grow in our understanding of mental illness and inclusion.

How were people impacted through the project?
Through my efforts and my positive attitude I inspired people to get the help they need. I also helped make sure people LGBTQ+ youth felt safe and that their mental health matters.

How did you tell the story of your project?
Through social media, church, and conversation. Throughout the summer, I shared what I was doing on my social media platforms. During church services, I talked and shared about projects and my accomplishments. I shared my passion during weekly meetings with church and community members.

What could you share about this project with others?
This was an amazing experience. I learned so much about myself, how to be a leader, ministry, and what I want to do. I got so many opportunities to accomplish my dreams and this allowed me to do that. I loved every moment and will always remember that God gifted me. He gifted me to make a change in this world and that is what I will continue to do.