The Congregational Collective exists to equip congregations to become community leaders in mental health and wellness by partnering to build support systems, networks and ministry tools that include educational resources, training, and a network of relationships.

Our vision is to collaborate with others to make San Antonio’s congregations the safest places in the world for people seeking mental wellness.

Current Focus of The Collective

In late 2023, The Collective launched an 18-month learning pilot with eight congregations across San Antonio to test and learn about effective foundational training and support resources that will help put congregations on a path to success. Successful resources will be scaled beyond the pilot as we learn.


Contact The Collective

If you would like to learn more about the current work, please feel free to contact us.

Email: info@thecongregationalcollective.org
Address: 140 W. Sunset, San Antonio, TX 78209

Meet our Executive Director

For nearly five years Rebecca “Becca” Brune has served as Chief Strategy Officer and Regional Executive Director of South Texas for the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute where she led efforts to cultivate national, regional, and statewide strategic partnerships, funding development and implementation of community-based systems transformation initiatives. Over the past twenty-four years Becca’s work has spanned a broad array of multisector institutions. She has assumed leadership roles in philanthropy, local government, private sector, and nonprofits. As a trained mediator, she has facilitated community conversations around natural resource management issues, healthcare, economic development, strategic planning, and community engagement.

Work with Us

Communications Director
Training and Support Specialist

History of The Collective

The Congregational Collective was founded by the H. E. Butt Foundation in 2023 as a 501(c)(3) public charity to support a strategic goal that people with mental health challenges would find community and support from local faith communities without stigma. This goal arose from knowledge that a high percentage of people struggling with mental health turn to a clergy member ahead of a mental health professional, even though most clergy members do not feel equipped to meet the need.

Mental Health reform has been important to the Butt family for three generations that began in 1955 when Mary Holdsworth Butt was asked to serve on the State’s MHMR Board of Directors. Her leadership affected many reforms and spanned nearly three decades and six governors.

In 1961, Laity Lodge was constructed on the Foundation’s Real County property along the Frio River. It was built as a tool for Howard Butt, Jr.’s ministry, which was born out of a depressive condition that made it difficult for him to continue his bi-vocational role as a leader at H-E-B and lay preacher. Laity Lodge has a 60-year tradition of integrating human relationships and theology through small group convening. Mr. Butt’s lay witness approach and his willingness to be honest about his own experiences have created space for openness and honesty about human struggle and, unknowingly, contributed to the de-stigmatization of mental illness with a traditionally unopen religious sector.

In 2017, Deborah and David Rogers, the current leaders of the Foundation, engaged in a visioning and strategic planning process in preparation for their legacy of leadership. They wanted to ensure that the Foundation would be well positioned to expand its societal impact in a way that built upon its history and mission without over-burdening the programming in the Frio Canyon. Mental health and wellness are of particular interest to them because the need is tremendous, and it connects the interest of every family generation. They have focused their strategies on upstream supports and prevention.

Before establishing The Congregational Collective, the Foundation commissioned two mental health faith studies to better understand the current climate in San Antonio. Additionally, a strategic planning process that engaged community members across the faith and mental health sector helped determine the value and need a relational technical support role in San Antonio.

Landscape and Analysis

We are pleased to provide two reports below, which have resulted from our special initiative to equip churches to help with mental wellness.

In 2018, The H. E. Butt Foundation engaged Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute to gather an inventory of faith and mental health initiatives in San Antonio as well as evidence-based faith and mental health practices taking place across Texas and nationally. To our knowledge, no repository of best practices and models currently exists that is readily available for people to learn about other resources and approaches, making this project of particular importance not only to San Antonio, but to people engaged in faith-related mental health initiatives around Texas and the nation.

Click the buttons below to learn more about the study Bringing Faith and Mental Health Together: An Inventory of Faith and Mental Health Initiatives in San Antonio and Nationally.

MEADOWS FOUNDATION EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

MEADOWS FOUNDATION FULL REPORT

Our study with UTSA began in the fall of 2018. The Foundation partnered with 13 San Antonio-area Christian congregations and a research team at the University of Texas-San Antonio to study how churches respond to members of their congregations who might be experiencing mental health problems.

Click the button below to learn more about Health and Wellness in San Antonio, Texas: A Study by the H. E. Butt Foundation and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

UTSA FULL REPORT