Geneva church holds panel, service to remember those lost to suicide

Geneva Lutheran Church is hosting a panel on suicide prevention and a service of Remembrance Sunday at the church, 301 S. Third St. in Geneva.

Doors open at 4 p.m. A panel will meet at 4:30 p.m. The panel will include suicide survivors, or those who have lost a loved one to suicide, a psychologist, as well as representatives of Suicide Prevention Services in Batavia and Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice in Geneva. Handouts will be available on prevention, intervention and grief support. The Rev. Doug Opp, pastor at Geneva Lutheran, will lead a candlelight service of remembrance at 6 p.m.

"Hopefully, something in the program will touch someone's heart and help with healing," said the church's parish nurse Barb Christenson. "The educational part is important, too. Learning the signs and symptoms can save a neighbor, a friend or a loved one."

Christenson said statistics show that about 5 million Americans have been affected by suicide within the last 25 years.

"I'm a survivor myself," Christenson said. "I lost my stepfather three years ago."

The church held a program for those impacted by suicide last year, and is continuing in its tradition of community involvement.

"We want to reach out to our neighbors," Christenson. "We'd like to instill healing and make a difference."

For information, call Christenson at (630) 232-7037.

Lenten concert: Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 307 Cedar Ave. in St. Charles, will present a concert for Lent at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1.

Guest artists are Cathryn Wilkinson of Lombard, organist; and Phillip W. Serna, Wheaton, viola da gamba. Wilkinson and Serna will perform the Sonata in D Major for viola da gamba and keyboard by J.S. Bach, one of only three works that Bach wrote for viola.

Additional selections include contemporary organ settings of Lenten hymns by Samuel Barber, Gwyneth Walker, and Emma Lou Diemer. The duo will also play selections from Francois Couperin's Mass for organ, arranged for the organ-viol combination.

Wilkinson is organist at First United Church of Oak Park and associate professor and chair of the music department at Aurora University. A performer on both viols and double bass, Serna teaches at Valparaiso University and directs the Music Institute of Chicago's early music program, "Viols in Our Schools."

A freewill offering will be taken.

Call (630) 844-6862 for information.

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