InterVarsity Press author Amy Simpson (Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church’s Mission, 2013) will be a featured speaker this week (Mar. 28) at “The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church” at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. The one-day event will address a range of mental health issues. Simpson is the editor of Christianity Today’s Gifted for Leadership online ministry for women and senior editor of Leadership Journal. Simpson surveyed church leaders about mental illness among congregants, as well as themselves and their own families. Among five hundred responses, 98 percent had seen mental illness in their congregations. Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life) has started a new mental health ministry and is working with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange and the National Alliance on Mental Illness to host the conference. Warren and his wife and cofounder of Saddleback Church, Kay Warren, lost their son to suicide in 2013. IVP will publish Simpson’s next book, Anxious: Choosing Faith in a World of Worry, in October 2014.

Another IVP author, Peter Heltzel (Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World, with Alexia Salvatierra, 2010), has been honored with the 2014 Nelson Mandela Community Activist Award for his work in New York City. The award was presented by the New York City Clergy Roundtable at the Nelson Mandela Tribute & Award Ceremony on March 7. Associate professor of systematic theology at New York Theological Seminary, Heltzel also directs the seminary’s Micah Institute, which educates New York City faith leaders on social and economic justice issues to equips them as activists. He is assistant pastor of evangelism at Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City and serves on the Metro Commission on Ministry and the Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation Team of the Northeastern Region, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

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