People in our churches and communities are drowning in their addictions. More people died from opiate overdoses in Massachusetts in the past year than in any year before
. Despite increased awareness and engagement from law enforcement and legislative
bodies, we know that many communities have suffered unseen and under-resourced for a long time. Thousands find themselves caught in the tide of addiction, which knows no boundaries of class, race, geography, or religious affiliation.
“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection.” At every Massachusetts Council of Churches workshop on Addiction & Spritiuality, we hear this affirmation from the Rev. Janice Ford, RN and Peter Kosciusko, Director of Substance Abuse at Worcester County House of Corrections.
Few of us understand the burdens of shame and stigma that people in addiction and recovery carry. Fewer still know how to help. After this workshop you will.
—The Rev. Corey J. Sanderson, Pastor, Second Congregational Church, Greenfield, MA
Through this workshop I began to wrestle with my own prejudices, began to discern what was misinformation and what was not, and have begun to more fully understand and appreciate this epidemic as an illness that is devastating all aspects of our society.
—Rev. Kim Murphy, Executive Director, Plymouth, Cape and Islands Mission Hub, The Episcopal Diocese of MA
On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit reminds us that we do not exist in isolation. We are connected inextricably in the Body of Christ. As Christians, we are uniquely positioned to change the tide of the opiate addiction crisis in Massachusetts. We know connection, and can help foster it. Join us in educating clergy so that we can put an end to the opiate crisis in our state.
As of June 1, we will have held seven workshops, from Franklin to Barnstable Counties. Now we need your help to hold seven more. This summer, we aim to raise $7,000 to fund our remaining workshops. We can’t do it without you. Please join us, and give generously!
Rev. Laura Everett
Executive Director, Massachusetts Council of Churches