We have asked people from every sector of the community (Business, Education, Government, Media, Church, non-profits, Family) to share with us the quantifiable prayer requests that they have for their part of the community. Then we asked churches to help us fill up every day of the month in order to establish a 24/7 prayer covering for Frederick. Once again, is there not a cause? The Opioid crisis alone is taking more than 1 of our sons or daughters a week. Are the needs in our community not enough that we should ask God himself to show mercy on us and give us help in our time of need?
Community Recovery Policy
written and edited by Gary Cox and Richard Fredericks for crossedBRIDGES
This covenant expresses the common concerns of the Evangelical faith community regarding the need to respond to the opioid crisis in Frederick County, Maryland.
Based on a Biblical worldview, we believe that:
1. God created humanity for fellowship with Himself, but we broke fellowship with God.
2. God loves all of humanity and has activated a plan for our complete redemption and restoration through Jesus Christ.
3. God has established His Church to break the destructive hold of sin and guilt on people’s lives and activate them into a new life in Christ.
4. The opioid crisis needs the concerted and coordinated effort of the faith-based community.
5. Compassion for those affected requires sensitive recognition of their unique needs/pathways to recovery.
6. Compassion requires prayer for discernment and obedience to serve in God’s Harvest Field according to the calling, gifts and opportunity He gives us.
7. This responsibility includes those inside our congregations and outside, working in tandem with already established resources both religious and where appropriate, secular.
Community Recovery Policy (cont'd)
Therefore, we will do the following to the best of our ability:
1. Address the opioid/substance abuse crisis through Biblical, hopeful, Christ-centered teaching.
2. Promote sustainable recovery practices and direct ministry to those affected by the opioid crisis as well as referral services for those with needs beyond our resources.
3. Provide appropriate opioid training to our congregation/organization that incorporates assessment tools representing the best faith-based practices such as NARR, FIRST Steps, 12 Step programs, administered by a peer-mentor instructor when possible.
4. Promote at least one annual outreach event in our congregation/community to enhance awareness of the opioid crisis and equip members in redemptive recovery practices/resources.
5. Train individuals with recovery testimonies to serve as mentors for: individuals in recovery, parents in crisis, troubled youth, and anyone desiring to overcome addictions of any kind.
6. Provide recovery services through mentors who have recovered from their own addictions and referrals for individuals and families in opioid crisis through professional resources.
7. Unite the resources and expertise of congregations/organizations through the BRIDGES network to achieve permanent recovery throughout the county.
17 FIRST Opioid Response Questions for Pastors
developed by crossedBRIDGES team
Friends of Everyone
1.___ Does your congregation do well showing God’s love to their neighbors, caring and being friendly, welcoming everyone? (Stigma issue is very significant)
2.___ Does your congregation know how to discern someone struggling with addiction? 10 questions fact sheet (see resource list here)
Informed of Community Needs
Inform everyone everywhere… Educate Congregation together. Pastoral leadership needs to be involved.
3.___ Does the Pastor talk and pray about community needs that have been identified such as substance-abuse etc. from the pulpit?
4.___ Has your church brought in substance-abuse trained ministers? (see resource list here)
5.___ Has your church made substance-abuse training materials available to members/attendees? (see resource list here)
6.___ Are your members encouraged to be conduits of vital health information as a good neighbor? (Keep them alive until they want to live.)
7.___ Have your members/attendees been encouraged to receive Narcan training? (ask about regular Narcan trainings)
Resource Based Champion in the Church
Champion in the church ~ Beware of non-recovery saints trying to help those in recovery. (Those in recovery need safe places to confess and build trust.)
8.___ Does your church have a Substance-Abuse Champion?
▪What is a Substance Abuse Champion? Pray for God to raise one up for you.
·preferably someone already in recovery…or family member of someone…or trained well, (beware of individuals who don’t understand addiction)
·they befriend and help those in recovery or their family members to feel at home and welcomed in the church. They serve as a funnel. Members sweep those needing help to peer recovery champion who.
·they know and point to available local resources.
▪Where is training for a Champion? Peer Recovery Coach Training/Celebrate Recovery/Crossroad’s Freedom Center/other
17 Questions (cont'd)
9. ___ Does your church have Support groups where those in recovery and their families can share honestly, grieve, receive prayer and mutual support (boundaries training needed!)?
10. ___ Does your church have mature men and women who can be sponsor or accountability partners for those in recovery (boundaries training needed!) ?
11. ___ Does your church have serving opportunities for those in recovery to participate in the life of the church?
12. ___ Does your church have a good list of local Substance Abuse Resources? (resource list here)
Salvation through Jesus
13. ___ Does your church clearly preach/teach salvation through Christ alone?
14. ___ Does your church practice God’s mercy through repentance from sin?
15. ___ Does your church nurture an atmosphere of righteousness by faith in Christ?
Open to building long term relationships with recovery houses
16. ___ Does your church have long term relationships with local Christian recovery organizations? (resource list here) with other secular local recovery organizations?
17. ___ Are your members/attendees encouraged to volunteer and give to those organizations?