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, and 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--elicits a spiritual depression that is often not met by the mainstream church. We at Bethel are concerned with how loneliness impacts our congregation and our surrounding community. We seek to address loneliness directly, as an imaginative and innovative ministry that fulfills a great need.
In the upcoming months, Bethel will be working on several projects designed to build relationships with our neighbors. We have a piano in our backyard during non-winter months for anyone who wants to stop by to play some music. We are considering building a patio to connect us with folks on our streets. There we would host coffee times, music performances, a Pet Fashion Show, lead classes, and eat popsicles. We have installed interactive signs around our property explaining our environmental justice features. We are installing a basketball hoop and painting games on our concrete. We hope to install a mural soon!
To learn more about how YOU can participate in the (Oust) Loneliness Project, send us an email at: