Week of Hope offers message to churches
An initiative sponsored by the Lawrence County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (LCSAP) is challenging local church members to do whatever they can to support people with substance use disorders.
A five-minute video on that subject will be emailed to Lawrence County pastors to show their congregations during the first annual Week of Hope, September 12-16. September is recognized nationally as Recovery Month; Week of Hope is a related project designed by LCSAP.
The film features Dr. Monty Burks, Director of Special Projects for Tennessee’s Department of Mental Health/Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS), and me, speaking about the important role congregations can play in the lives of people who are hurting.
Burks is the first Director of the TDMHSAS Faith-based Community Initiative, an inspired partnership between church and state. It involves the certification of individuals, congregations and faith-based organizations as educated ambassadors who can offer the right kind of help and support for those dealing with substance use issues.
Local churches can apply to become part of the TDMHSAS network of Certified Recovery Churches. These congregations have a visible outreach in the community and provide space for or host recovery groups. They have access to additional training and resources and can be linked with other churches and faith-based organizations across the state.
“We are asking church members to step out of their pews and meet people where they are,” Harris said. The message is one of hope: people can and do recover from substance use disorders, but need support along the way.
Several local churches sponsor classes for those in recovery from addictions of all kinds.
Busby Church of God – Celebrate Recovery, Mondays at 6 p.m. Call 931-325-9868 for more information.
Coleman United Methodist – AA/Stephen’s Ministry, Mondays at 9:30 a.m. Call 762-3771.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – Addiction Recovery, Tuesdays at 6 p.m. Call 201-8164.
Mars Hill Baptist Church – Celebrate Recovery, Tuesday/Friday, 6 p.m. Call 242-2510 or 242-2511.
New Prospect Baptist Church – Broken Chains, Tuesdays at 6:30. Call 762-7929.
Lawrenceburg Seventh Day Adventist Church – Celebrate Recovery, Thursdays at 6 p.m. Call 762-7401.
United Church – Living Free, Mondays at 6 p.m. Call 762-8175.
Harris suggests that church members can also learn more about LCSAP, attend meetings, volunteer in its programs, and invite speakers to church gatherings. Red Ribbon Week is a national observance in October; churches and congregation members can show support by participating in community activities that will be announced on LCSAP’s Facebook page.
“No matter what, everyone can pray,” Harris said. The Week of Hope film will offer guidance for specific prayer; churches that want further ideas on this subject can ask for ongoing support from LCSAP.
The video also comes with a script that pastors can use before and after its showing. If you are a pastor and do not receive the video via email by September 9, you may call 931-244-5533 or email lcsapcoalition@gamil.com for your copy.