For four consecutive Thursdays in May, the Presbytery of Redstone’s Addiction Ministry Network led an online webinar that discussed ways that the church can combat an opioid epidemic that is plaguing communities around the region. Held in conjunction with the Synod of the Trinity, the webinar featured resources that are part of a seven-session curriculum titled “Into the Light: Christian Responses to Addiction,” which was created by the Addiction Ministry Network and includes everything from relevant scripture passages to suggested hymns to discussion topics. The curriculum, which is available here, can be used during Sunday morning worship or at a weeknight Bible study.
The four sessions from the curriculum that were highlighted during the webinar were:
- Session I: What is a Substance Use Disorder?
- Session II: Love and Enabling
- Session III: Healing and Recovery
- Session IV: Engaging Our Congregation Within the Community
Linda Chicka, a member at Poke Run Presbyterian Church in Apollo, PA (Westmoreland County) and a retired substance abuse prevention specialist, led all four discussions, which were recorded and downloaded onto the Synod’s YouTube channel. The recordings are available by clicking the links above.
“A difficult journey requires a lot of trust in God,” Linda said during the “Healing and Recovery” session. “The person that’s beginning that journey may not have a relationship with God, but having a friend or community for support and not taking that journey alone enriches their life. It may open their eyes particularly to the support that God’s congregation and community can give them.
“Those suffering from long-term illnesses like a substance use disorder, we need to understand that they are more than their disease. They are children of God. God in his infinite love for us will help us through that.
“Jesus does not call us to go and find disciples who are already disciples. He says, ‘Go and make disciples.’”
A monthly Zoom video conference meeting that will continue this conversation is in the works for this fall.