In Albany, Oregon, on Feb. 11-12, 2022, the Albany Church hosted Neil Nedley, founder and medical director of the community-based and residential Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery Programs and the creator of the series, Optimize Your Brain. Nedley also serves as president of Weimar University, a higher education college that houses the world-famous NEWSTART program in central California.
That first presentation focused on depression, anxiety and the brain chemicals which contribute to those conditions. This presentation was followed by a short question and answer period.
During the Sabbath morning presentations, Nedley reviewed scriptural evidences to remind us that the people we read about in our Bibles were human, just as we are. They also suffered from depression, addictions and personality challenges that are so common in our world today. He reminded the congregation that God persevered; he loved and never gave up on His children — just as He continues to do with us now.
A huge contributing factor to good mental health is exercise, fresh air and sunshine. Both Nedley and Barry Taylor, Albany Church pastor, encouraged attendees to take advantage of that Sabbath's warm, sunny, winter afternoon and to get outside to spend some time in nature — God's second book — doing what Nedley referred to as "forest-bathing." Returning for the Sabbath evening presentation, Nedley focused on how plant-based diets can remedy many common mental and physical health concerns. After the last presentation, Nedley's material was available for purchase for future reference.
In addition to the Albany Church family, many neighboring church members and the local community attended the four seminars. Questions from the audience showed they were highly engaged in the presentations. Nedley's information was new and fresh for some attendees, and that other shared information confirmed what they had already believed or practiced through their life.