MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville United Methodist and Boonton United Methodist Churches are sponsoring a hope-filled community event designed to reduce stigma called “Rising Out of the Ashes” on Friday, March 8 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Montville UMC.

The event is primarily being held to recognize their Stigma Free Essay Contest winners and to raise awareness of stigmatized issues such as mental health and addiction.

“Determining our winners proved to be a much more difficult decision than we anticipated, as we had a number of amazing entries,” Pastor Donald Kirschner said. “We were moved and inspired by what students wrote, sometimes even personal and vulnerable things that spoke to how certain stigmatized issues impacted their lives. Their essays revealed their passion for being stigma free and their desire to give voice to some of the hidden realities that so many stigmatized individuals often deal with.”

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Montville UMC and Boonton UMC are so very excited to be having this incredible event. Organizations such as New Pathway, HEART (Helping Educate At Risk Teens), Montville’s Stigma Free Task Force, Boiling Springs Bank, and Mickey Gilbert’s College Choice are some of the groups which will be present. There will also be a special performance put on by the NJ Mental Health Players. All individuals and families are invited and welcome to attend this FREE and educational community event.

The winners of our essay contest were as follows:

Junior High Winner for Primary Essay: Melody Hart, homeschooled (Gillette, NJ), 8th grade

Junior High Winner for Project: Melody Hart, homeschooled (Gillette, NJ), 8th grade

High School Winner for Primary Essay: Samia Shivon, Boonton High School, 11th grade

High School Winner for Project: Esme Lockwood, Montville Twp. High School, 11th grade

Montville United Methodist Church is located at 29 Whitehall Road in Towaco. For more information, email Pastor Donald Kirschner at PastorDonaldk44@gmail.com or call the church at 973-334-1603.

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