September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month - an observance that marks its 20th year, this year, with the theme, "Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Learn, Together We Heal."
The General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church and the California-Nevada Annual Conference are lending their voices to the chorus, urging churches to:
· Celebrate people in recovery, those close to them, and the treatment providers who help them;
· Emphasize the need to use all resources available, on the Internet and in communities, to better help those affected by addiction and to educate people about the disease; and
· Educate public and community leaders about the realities of addiction, benefits of treatment, and possibility of recovery, utilizing both community- and web-based media.
GBCS asks churches specifically to "Join the Voices for Recovery" by hosting a Recovery Month event.
In June the California-Nevada Annual Conference adopted a resolution at its Annual Conference Session, recognizing September as National Addiction Recovery Month and urging that one lay member from each congregation ask his or her pastor to preach a sermon on the recovery theme during September, and urging each congregation "to develop and support recovery ministries." The resolution also states that the Conference supports and endorses legislation which supports recovery and rehabilitation. (Read resolution as adopted on the Addiction Recovery page, located under "Church and Society," under "Ministries," on the Conference website at cnumc.org.)
An appropriate culmination to the month will be the workshop, "Understanding the Impact of Addiction and Supporting Recovery: Strategies and Tools for Clergy and Other Congregational Leaders," Wednesday, September 30, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., at San Ramon Valley United Methodist Church in Alamo, California. This day of learning and resources is sponsored by the Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV) of the General Board of Global Ministries and the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), and co-sponsored by the Cal-Nevada Conference, American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), and Alcohol-Narcotic Education Foundation (ANEF).
It will be a rare opportunity for pastors and other congregational leaders not only to get the latest information, but also to obtain resources and strategies for providing help and hope to individuals and families suffering the impact of addiction. Download interactive registration/flyer for more information and to register (a link to the flyer is also located under "What's New" on the cnumc.org Home Page). $35 fee includes Continental breakfast, lunch, and training materials. The workshop is open to clergy and congregational leaders of all faiths, as well as professionals and volunteers in the public and private sector.
The California-Nevada Conference Board of Ordained Ministry is offering .5 CEU (Continuing Education Units) credit to its own clergy - however, CEUs are not being offered by the sponsoring organizations.
The workshop is a follow-up to one held in Sacramento in January. A video about that event has been uploaded to REEL Witness, the video library on the California-Nevada Annual Conference website (a direct link to REEL Witness is located under "Quick Links" on the left side of the Home Page). Click here to watch the Understanding Addiction Workshop video.
(In October, San Ramon Valley UMC in Alamo will host a SPSARV Faith Partners Leadership Day, for clergy and one-to-three "targeted passionate laity" per church. Click on link above to read more.)
Visit www.recoverymonth.gov to find out more about National Recovery Month and to download a planning tool kit and other useful materials.
Visit the GBCS website for worship helps, and to join the Addictions Network to be informed about events and actions pertaining to addiction and recovery issues through The United Methodist Church.