People define their spirituality, faith, and religion as being a process involving growth, addressing existential questions about meaning and sense in life, life satisfaction, well-being, a sense of purpose, hope, and optimism. During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and communities have started to explore more personal and collective connections with spiritual, faith, and religious resources as coping mechanisms. They seem to be a potential antidote that minimizes the consequences of anxiety, depression, and any other mental or physical stress caused during the coronavirus crisis.
In this context, the proposed panel and conversation series on spirituality, faith, and religion: creating a time and space for connection, wellness, and hope can be a tool for healthcare professionals, patients, family, and communities to reconnect with themselves, provide the most comprehensive care possible, benefit from spiritual practice, build social support, and share stories of hope and resilience.
Our community conversation series will offer comfort and safe space through structured and innovative conversation focusing on spiritual beliefs and coping. Activities facilitate verbal expression and appropriate social interaction and build a sense of belonging. We discuss activities and themes from these webinars within a recovery-oriented “emotion-focused coping” framework. A faith community member will lead this series.
To watch the recording, click here.
Moderator: Thomas Burr, Community and Affiliate Relations Manager, NAMI Connecticut
Panelists for July 8th, 2021
Enroue [On-roo] Halfkenny [Haf-ken-ee]
Enroue Halfkenny has been a Babalawo [Bah-bah-lah-woe] within the West African traditional religion of the Yoruba [Yoh-ru-bah] People for more than 20 years. He is a clinical social worker, an artist, and an activist. He is a multiracial, Black, cisgender, heterosexual man, father of two, who has been married for more than 21 years. Mr. Halfkenny has also been living sober for over 28 years. The weaving together of spiritual health, mental health, and social justice issues and practices guide his life and direct his work with others.
Noman J. Nuton Jr., Senior Minister
Congregation: New Haven Church of Christ
A native of Cambridge, Maryland, Minister Nuton is a graduate of Amridge University (formerly Southern Christian University) where he earned his bachelor of science degree in bible/ministry, graduating summa cum laude. For several years, he served at the Cambridge Church of Christ as the assistant minister and youth minister. At the Capital Church of Christ, he assisted with the youth ministry, teaching high school teens and preaching the gospel. Minister Nuton served as the senior minister of the Church of Christ in Easton Maryland for 6 years; for the past 4 years, he has served in his current position as senior minister at the New Haven Church of Christ. Committed to serving his church and his community, Minister Nuton is a board member of Christian Community Action, which is a faith-based nonprofit organization committed to housing, feeding, and educating families who are less fortunate.
Minister Nuton achieved recognition working as a paralegal for a prominent law firm in Baltimore City, Maryland. In addition to his ministerial service, he worked in the insurance industry for 15 years in various positions, including working as a national sales executive for an insurance brokerage in Cambridge for 8 years. He also worked in conjunction with the Dorchester County Public Schools, speaking at various schools and community events.
Minister Nuton, a resident of Hamden, Connecticut, is married to Myra; together they have three children, Mya, Mariah, and Norman III.
Reverend Bonita Grubbs
Rev. Grubbs has been the executive director of Christian Community Action since December 1988. Before that, 1985–1988, she was employed as assistant regional administrator in Region V (Northwest Connecticut) for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health. Actively engaged in public service, she has served as a governing board member for these organizations:
- Connecticut Housing Coalition
- The Hospital of Saint Raphael
- Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund
- International Festival of Arts and Ideas
- Connecticut Voices for Children
- Project Access New Haven
- Community Economic Development Fund
Addition leadership positions include the following:
- Member, Connecticut Judicial Review Council
- Interim pastor, Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church, Hamden, Connecticut
- President, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness
- Co-chair, Steering Committee of New Haven’s Fighting Back Project
- Member, Board of Trustees of Mercy Center in Madison, Connecticut
- Member, Board of Trustees of Connecticut Center for School Change and Dwight Hall at Yale University
- Lecturer in supervised ministries and homiletics, Yale Divinity School
- President, ABCCONN, and chair of ABCCONN’s Personnel Committee
Rev. Grubbs holds an undergraduate degree in sociology and Afro-American studies from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She received two degrees from Yale University, a master of arts in religion and a master of public health. She received an honorary degree from Albertus Magnus College in 2001. In 2012, Richard Levin, former Yale University president, and Rev. Grubbs received the New Haven Register’s Person of the Year Award. In 2013, she received the Humanitarian Award from the Connecticut Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission.
Presently, Rev. Grubbs is a member of the governing board of the Regional Workforce Alliance. Confirmed as deputy chaplain of the Connecticut State Senate General Assembly in 2015, she continues to serve in this capacity.