Dear Family,photo of me at P&E 4

I hope this pastoral message finds you and your loved ones well or at least in a place where you know you are not alone. While I was on vacation in May I had lunch with a dear friend who also happens to be a Director of Religious Education (DRE). When I asked her how things were going in her youth group, she sighed. She told me that cutting had become a problem in her youth group. As we talked my mind raced with ideas on how I could support her and the youth who were cutting. One of the ideas was to do a webinar on the topic.

In July, at the scheduled meeting of the Youth Ministry Advisory Committee, I shared my concern about what my DRE friend had told me.  The younger members of the committee validated what my friend had said by sharing that self-harm behavior is big among youth. I mentioned my webinar idea and they agreed that it was much needed and would be helpful. So I presented the first of two webinars on Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (NSI) this week to adult religious professionals. The second webinar is scheduled for Monday, November 4 at 9ET/8CT/6PC and it is not too late to join us at or by calling in to listen at (347) 817-7654.

One of the reasons people engage in NSI is that they do not know how to self-soothe or regulate their mood. So my question to you is: When you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed or are in emotional pain, what are some of the healthy things you do to feel better? If you are engaging in nonsuicidal self-injury such as by cutting or burning yourself, by snapping rubber bands on your skin, etc., please talk with your parents, DRE, minister or other responsible adult for support.

Remember you are not alone.

As always I would love to hear from you. You can message me on Facebook at Monica Cummings, email me at, or leave a comment for me on the YaYA of Color blog, UU Living Mosaic at


Rev. Monica

About the Author
Rev. Dr. Monica L Cummings