Congregations can turn pain and suffering into hope, healing, and health. They can prepare parents to provide important guidance, and assist young people to make responsible decisions. All congregations have the capacity to be a part of the solution to alcohol and other drug problems and addiction.
The Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV) of the General Board of Global Ministries has teamed up with the Rush Center of the Johnson Institute to offer congregations Faith Partners training to start an alcohol and drug ministry. This ministry consists of a small group of trained lay people who work together to provide alcohol and other drug awareness, prevention, education, early intervention, referral assistance, recovery support, and advocacy.
The team works closely with the pastor to develop a plan of action to meet the needs of the congregation. Over the past two years, 34 United Methodist congregations have started such a ministry.
On October 28 a Faith Partners Leadership Day will be held at San Ramon Valley UMC in Alamo, California, for clergy and one-to-three targeted passionate laity per church. Attendees will learn the nuts and bolts of starting and sustaining a substance abuse ministry in their congregation.
(Another Faith Partners Leadership Day will be held November 5 at Anaheim UMC, 1000 S. State College Blvd. Anaheim, CA.)
In addition, there will be a two-day team training within six months; date and location to be announced. Cost per congregation for both the Leadership Day and the team training is $300. A meal charge of $15 per person will be added for Leadership Day.
To register your congregation, visit www.umspsarv.org, click on training, and print the two-page form. Send check or money order, made payable to GBGM-UMC/SPSARV, to SPSARV, 1914 J N Pease Place, Charlotte, NC 28262.
Optional housing is available.
For more information, contact the Rev. Cynthia W. Sloan at SPSARV at 866.944.3330, toll free, or via email at CSloan@gbgm-umc.org.