Loneliness is an epidemic in the United States. It affects the elderly and children alike. “Nearly half of all Americans say they are lonely.” According to studies, loneliness impacts health in terms of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, depression and is said to shorten a person’s life by 15 years. Currently, one in six Boomers live alone while Gen Z (ages 18 to 22) and Millennials (ages 23 to 37) scored the highest for struggling with loneliness. Right now, physical and resulting emotional distancing relating to the COVID-19 epidemic have compounded loneliness in our society.
Loneliness—feelings of emptiness, being cut off and craving for connection elicit a spiritual depression that is often not met by the mainstream church. We, at Bethel, are concerned with how loneliness impacts our congregation and surrounding community. We seek to address loneliness directly, as an imaginative and innovative ministry that fulfills a great need.
To learn more about how YOU can participate in The Loneliness Project, email Dr. Jen Kilps, Engagement Coordinator for Bethel.