ELCA Hires Joy Hensel for Mental Health and Wellness Ministries

September 8, 2022. Northeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the governing body providing support to 130 ELCA churches in 13 counties, welcomes Joy Hensel as Synod Minister for Mental Health and Wellness. She has worked with the Synod as a mental health program consultant in a grant-funded role since 2019 and brings over 20 years of experience in ministry, mental health and addiction to the Northeastern Minnesota Synod.

“The statistics for those struggling with mental health across all age categories is staggering. This is true even inside the walls of the church,” says Bishop Amy Odgren. She goes on to state that, “The Northeastern Minnesota Synod has made a commitment to not only encourage and resource the spiritual health of congregations, but also toward the wellbeing of the physical, social, financial, and mental health of our faith communities. We are thrilled to have Joy join us as she shares her faith and expertise in this endeavor.” Hensel finds the NEMN Synod’s interest and investment in wellbeing inspiring and motivating.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to merge my call to ministry with my call to mental health and wellness in this new position,” Joy commented.

She will expand the work of the Youth Ministry and Mental Health Initiative by developing additional resources that will educate, equip, and support ministry leaders and congregations to address the mental health and wellness needs for all ages.