Non-exclusive social clubs, weekly or monthly neighborhood forums, book clubs, and a variety of other community enhancing groups existed during my early childhood and for hundreds of years prior.
But most of what we have now only includes online communities, chat-rooms, and little fractious denominations of various clubs and associations that do a few sterile in-person events each year.
But the face-to-face, the one-to-one—there’s truly no substitute for it. We as humans are communicative and community oriented creatures and we can’t survive or live rich, full lives without one another.
In April, I’m teaming up with Camilla Ross and The Emerson Theatre Collaborative to do just that—promote community and open and honest conversation. I’m bringing The Gospel According to Josh to Mystic Connecticut and we’re talking about community, seeking help, and suicide prevention as part of the I am Worthy Project. We’re doing this at Union Baptist Church for a whole weekend and last week I wrote a letter to the congregants of the Union Baptist Church to get them ready for my appearance and to enlist their help. I want to share with you that letter.
And p.s., this ain’t about Baptists, Presbyterians, Buddhists, Team Edward, or Hanukkah Harry. We’re all in this together as one.
Greetings to my brothers and sisters at Union Baptist Church.
As you may know, Camilla Ross of the Emerson Theatre Collaborative and I are teaming up to bring awareness to the message of suicide prevention—a subject to which I’ve dedicated my life and some of my art.
After losing my father and grandfather to suicide, I felt alone and it was only through research I found that there are roughly thirty-seven thousand suicides in the United States each year and more than five hundred thousand attempts each year; but in spite of all that suicide is preventable.
My journey and personal struggle inspired me to write The Gospel According to Josh, a thirty character, twelve song, autobiographical one-man show. It had its premiere in New York City in 2010 and has since toured in twenty five U.S. states and in two Canadian provinces; spreading the message of suicide prevention.
I will be bringing this one-man show and this message to your congregation April 5th-7th and it would be my honor if you, your friends, and family would join me for this weekend of theatre and an honest and open dialogue.
In the coming weeks, with your permission of course, I'll send another bulletin article with some tips on preventing suicide and what we can do as a community to help all those who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts.
And please join us for the Wall of Yellow weekend by wearing your I am Worthy T-Shirt.
Thank you in advance for your support of such a great cause!