Creating the Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention

Sat Noon | Portal

Rachael A. Keefe

Suicide is one of the last taboos of the church. The very mention of it often triggers an uncomfortable silence. It’s time we shatter the stigma and end the silence surrounding suicide in the church. The church is the embodiment of Christ and there are many among us who struggle with suicidality, such that the Body of Christ is suicidal. It is possible for us to respond with love and grace in a way that saves lives and brings hope and healing to the body of Christ. In this interactive conversation, we will explore ways to safely talk about suicide in our churches, discuss the big questions (e.g. Is suicide a sin?), and explore the role of congregations in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Do you want your church to be a lifesaver? Come and join in this conversation.

Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the author of The Lifesaving Church: Faith Communities and Suicide Prevention (Chalice Press, 2018), and pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ in Minneapolis, MN. She’s a favored conference presenter on topics related to and mental health, particularly suicide and congregations. Previously, she served as clinical chaplain at a state psychiatric hospital where she worked with patients, staff, clergy, and churches to increase understanding and welcome of persons living with symptoms of mental illness. She also served on a State Suicide Prevention Council. Since her ordination in 1992, Keefe has served in many different ministry settings. She has graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale Divinity School (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). She is a painter and a poet, and her other published works are three in a series of theological poetry, which you can find out more on by visiting

78 The Lifesaving Church

Session #78