EVENT DATE: Sep 13, 2015
On September 13, CPC elder, Caroline Derifaj, will be participating in an Olympic distance triathlon in Washington, D.C called the Nations Tri. Her goal is to complete a 1 mile swim in the Potomac, 25 mile bike and 6 mile run consecutively. Caroline is participating with Team in Training which benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of CPC member, Gary Govert and in honor of CPC member, Rhonda Hinnant as well as ongoing visitor to CPC, Jinhwa Jeong.
Thanks to the generosity of many, Caroline quickly surpassed her goal of raising $2500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. While she is continuing to raise money for LLS until the race, she also felt called to open up the fundraising to benefit the Health Ministries at CPC with a particular focus on mental health awareness. Here is a statement from Caroline:
As many of you know, we have a very vibrant Parish Nurse Ministry thanks to the tireless efforts of CPC’s Parish Nurse, Mandy Nester, and others whose ministry operates primarily on donations. The reason I wanted to focus on mental health issues is because I am one of those people who struggles at times with depression. There are many others at CPC who also struggle, if not with major depression or major mental health issues, then with an abundance of stress in our lives which is detrimental to ourselves, our families and those whom we love. Often, it is the prevalence of shame and silence which prevents people from seeking the help they need for mental health issues.
Just last month, I participated in a Parish Nurse Ministry sponsored panel discussion at CPC with those who are dealing with chronic diseases. Someone asked if training for these triathlons helps me cope with depression- and the answer is, unequivocally, yes. Exercise, in any form, helps relieve stress. I am fortunate to be able to use my gifts as someone who loves to exercise to hopefully do some good. My hope is that with additional funding, the Health Ministries team could continue to hold forums, perhaps bring in speakers, and find other creative ways to help our congregation and community proactively recognize and deal with major mental health issues as well as stress, in general.
Recognizing the need for support of this wonderful team and mental health awareness, the Health Ministries team would like to share this opportunity to give with the congregation to show our support for the work that they do so they may continue helping all of us take better care of ourselves and, in turn, each other.