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The Stigma Free Church

Thank you to all those who submitted entries for our 2018 Stigma Free Essay Contest!

And congratulations to our contest winners!:

Junior High Essay Winner: Melody Hart, Homeschooled (Gillette, NJ), 8th Grade

Junior High Project Winner: Melody Hart, Homeschooled (Gillette, NJ), 8th Grade

High School Essay Winner: Samia Shivon, Boonton High School (Boonton, NJ), 11th Grade

High School Project Winner: Esme Lockwood, Montville Township High School (Montville, NJ), 11th Grade

Click HERE to view the winning essays and project ideas. Also, click HERE to see what some of our contestants had to say about why it's important to be stigma free!

The Montville United Methodist Church and Boonton United Methodist Churches recently sponsored an exciting, hope-filled, and stigma-free related event for the community called "Rising Out of the Ashes"






















We want to give a big THANK YOU to all who helped to make this event a huge success! We had countless food donations from Boiling Springs, Shop Rite, Red Barn, the Village Market, 5 Brothers Bagels & Deli, and Don's Sandwich Shop.

We were also blessed to have organizations such as New Pathway, HEART (Helping Educate At Risk Teens), Montville's Stigma Free Task Force, Boiling Springs, and Mickey Gilbert's College Choice present, helping to inform and resource everyone there.


Finally, we were privileged with the opportunity to have the NJ Mental Health Players offer powerful and meaningful skits to help speak into stigmatized issues of our day such as mental health and addiction.

Who knows what Montville UMC & Boonton UMC will do next in regards to this

Stigma Free Movement sweeping the state. But whatever it is, we sure hope that you'll choose to be a part of it!

Last year, from October 7-November 4, 2018, we delved into some very difficult, but relevant topics that were affecting people within our communities and across our nation to a tremendous degree. This was the beginning of the Stigma Free Movement within our local church, and we were grateful for the congregation's and community's willingness to engage in such meaningful dialogue. In fact, we hope peoples' engagement with these topics and participation in these conversations continue!

To listen to sermons from The Stigma Free Church series,

you can visit our sister church's service archive at:

Are you an organization or church that is interested in doing

a similar thing to help spread this important message?

Feel free to reach out to Pastor Donald to find out more!

Topics & Themes Covered Included

October 7th: Addiction

October 14th: Self-Harm & Suicide

October 21st: Mental Health

October 28th: Human Trafficking

November 4th: Group of Professional Panelists with Q & A


Be sure to continue using #thestigmafreechurch whenever sharing or talking about what’s going on at Montville UMC related to anything stigma free.

And if you haven't already, we invite you to check out our Twitter that was launched October, 2018:

The Stigma Free Church @StigmaFreeUMC

Additionally, Pastor Donald created and utilized a 5-week RETHINK Addiction Curriculum for a small group setting. If interested in using this resource for your own organization or faith community, please email him at


For more helpful information on the Stigma Free Movement and what our specific county (Morris County) is doing to help spread this message, visit

There are events posted monthly and much more!


Also, consider taking the pledge to be stigma-free by going to

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Rising Out of the Ashes - Final
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