This evening the four eldest members of our family attended a presentation about suicide prevention by Rich Van Pelt, a church youth leader from Colorado who has authored several books on helping teens in crisis. I’m not sure how many people were present in the sanctuary at Crossings Community Church in north Oklahoma City, but I’d guess over 1000.

Attendees listening to Rich Van Pelt speaking at Crossings Community Church in OKC

Quite a few members of our church‘s youth group attended, along with parents, elders, and Sunday School teachers. Our community has experienced a series of teen suicides in the past year, and the ideas Rich shared are both timely and needed.

Rich Van Pelt speaking at Crossings Community Church in OKC

I did not have my laptop at the presentation tonight, so I used my iPhone to live-tweet it. Unfortunately I didn’t see a tweet from Crossings Church about the hashtag they’re using (#Cultivating) for this spring speaker series until after the event. I created a Storify to chronologically archive the tweets I shared from the event. Many thanks to Rich Van Pelt for sharing this information and these strategies to pro-actively address teen suicide, and thanks to Crossings Church for hosting this event for our community. Since these issues are relevant to a wide audience and not strictly theological / faith focused, I’m posting this here in addition to my Christian blog, Eyes Right.

Learn more about Rich and his ministry career serving kids in crisis in this four minute video from June 2012. His books and other support resources are available from Zondervan.

Remember Hebrews 13:20

Hebrews 13:20-21

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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