Hope for the Holidays and Winter Seasons of Our Lives, 2017-18

So often, the holiday buzz tends to distract us from our pains and concerns. However, the months of winter tend to bring them all back up again without much support. The hope for this Mental Health Initiative campaign is to help others hear and see testimonies that are similar to theirs as they face the holidays and winter season ahead.

With this holiday season already showing to be more challenging than most, we want to offer honest, practical, and genuine hope about issues not often talked about during the holiday season, and extend these reflections through the winter for those who seem to feel most alone during this time.

We invite you to visit this page from December through February for weekly posts from Disciples across the life of the church! We are grateful for everyone sharing here, and pray these perspectives can help bring hope during the holidays and winter seasons of our lives.

Hope for the Holidays

Angela Whitenhill, M.Div., LCSW
NBA Mental Health Initiative Manager

Video: Angela Whitenhill

Tis the Season To be Depressed: How to Shake the Holiday Blues
Rev. Mary Alice Do
Disciples Minister, Author

Rev. Mary Alice Do

Rev. Mary Alice Do“Too often, we hide our depression because we don’t want to bring others down, especially during this season. We end up struggling alone when there are actually many people hiding their depression. Barbara Key Lundblad suggests a Triple-A approach, and I try to follow it: Admit my feelings; Ask for help; Accompany one another.”


Amor a la Distancia: Feeling Close While Far Away During the Holidays
Nancy Cordova
Mental Health Educator, Recording Artist

Video: Nancy Cordova

The Perfect Way to Let Go of Holiday Stress
Rev. Dr. Dietra Wise Baker
Disciples Minister, Chaplain, Community Organizer, Trainer

Video: Rev. Dr. Dietra Wise Baker

Stocking Stuffers Full of Memories: Remembering Those Passed on Christmas Day
Rev. Nancy Fowler
Ph.D. Student, Disciples Minister

Video: Rev. Nancy Fowler

Dancing with Depression and Loneliness: Living into Wholeness This Holiday  
Sonya Dunn
Educator, Poet, Life Coach

Video: Sonya Dunn

Finding Hope and Peace in the Midst of Christmas Blues
Rev. Perry Wiggins
Senior Pastor, Counselor

Rev. Perry Wiggins III

Rev. Perry Wiggins III“Years ago, four months before Christmas, I lost my dad to an unexpected heart attack. I was 15 years old at that time, and this was a shocking and overwhelmingly painful episode in my young life. … Over the years, the pain went away and Christmas became that special, inspiring, uplifting, and most wonderful time of the year again. But this was a long and difficult journey for me because I spent several years grieving my dad’s death.”


Avoiding Isolation: Leaning on Community in the Heart of the Holidays
Rev. CJ Rodriguez
Senior Pastor, Activist

Video (English): Rev. CJ Rodriguez

Evitando el aislamiento: Apoyándose en la comunidad durante los días festivos
Rev. CJ Rodríguez
Pastor y Activista

Video (Spanish): Rev. CJ Rodriguez

Meaningful Milestones: Reclaiming Life after Loss
Kasi Zieminski
NBA Director of Marketing

Video: Kasi Zieminski

Keeping It Moving: Finding Joy in Music and Dance
Mark D. Anderson
NBA President and CEO

Video: Mark D. Anderson

Hope for the Winter Season

Life Art: A Creative Way to Self-Love and Resist Norms
Arianna Sikorski
Arts Cultural Events Producer, Curator, Consultant

Video: Arianna Sikorski

Keeping Loving Connections Despite Distance
Rev. Sarah Kingsbery
Disciples Minister

Rev. Sarah Kingsbery

Rev. Sarah Kingsbery“Living hundreds of miles away from all my close family makes the holidays and other special occasions especially lonely. When I said yes to a job that meant being much less present in the lives of my two young nieces, I knew I had to find a way to stay connected with them.”


Spiritual Coping for Justice Work and Activist Trauma
Evan Bunch
Activist, Seminarian

Video: Evan Bunch

There’s Always More: Surviving Suicide, Embracing the New
Mark Poindexter
Senior Pastor, Author, Marines

Mark Poindexter

Mark Poindexter“No matter how overwhelming the darkness may seem in the moment, there’s always more: more relationships to be formed, good works to do, new experiences to be had, and laughter to be shared. Depression will not consume us if we remember that it’s not the only reality. There’s more to our stories.”


Resting in God’s Presence: Using Scripture to Combat Burn Out and Compassion Fatigue
Rev. Orlando Scott
Disciples Minister, Chaplain, Navy