Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends
A monthly meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

Responding to substance abuse, as a community

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Kevin King, clerk, received this query from Stuart Nelson, Institute for Spirituality and Health. Friends are aware of Stuart's involvement with Compassionate Houston and it's Compassion Week startup April 2018 that LOFM hosted. The query asks our involvement in a "program of faith communities' response to substance misuse, addiction, and the overdose crisis."
  
Kevin posts it here for reference, and
1) to ask the community if there is a Friend moved to be involved on behalf of LOFM,
2) and as a conversation starter if Friends are facing addiction in your family or a friend - as an invitation to talk with a Friend at LOFM for support.
See Stuart's invitation below.
 
Peace, love, connection, and community,  
Kevin King, clerk LOFM 2018-2020.   
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From: Stuart Nelson <(Removed email address for public posting. Contact the clerk or his office for his email address)>    
Fate: Fri, Jul 12, 2019, 3:23 PM.  
Subject: An Invitation for Live Oak Friends from ISH.   
To: Kevin King, clerk;     
Dear Live Oak Friends,    
    
Greetings! It has been some time since we were last in touch, so I hope this finds you well.
    
I'm writing because for the past year and a half I’ve been involved in creating and piloting a program focused on faith communities' response to substance misuse, addiction, and the overdose crisis. The program, which is organized by the Institute for Spirituality and Health in collaboration with Clinton Foundation and The Council on Recovery, helps religious leaders from different traditions respond to substance use challenges that are indiscriminately present across our population.
    
In the first round, which took place over approximately ten months, we worked with faith leaders from 12 communities across the city to plan and implement strategies to decrease stigma, curb addiction, prevent overdose and build community resilience.
    
Organizers are working to engage a second cohort of faith leaders to participate in the program and anticipate having the first meeting in September 2019.
     
We have not had any participation from the Religious Society of Friends, and I am really hoping that you can become involved in the work for the upcoming cohort. There's no cost to participate - the only requirement is that a leader who is active in the community attend the meetings and be willing to share experiences and ideas – this is a collaborative process.
     
Does this sound like something you would be willing to join in on? Happy to discuss by phone or continue an email chain. My cell - (Removed for public posting. Contact the clerk or his office for this number).
     
I feel this is important because I believe that our religious communities are very-well positioned to bring addiction out of the shadows, support people who are struggling, offer hope and prevent addiction before it starts. We have some incredible stories from our first cohort about the unexpected impacts we made.
     
I look forward to connecting soon!
     
Warmly,
Stuart
Stuart C. Nelson, MA
Vice President
Institute for Spirituality and Health
8100 Greenbriar, #300, Houston, TX 77054
Office: 713-797-0600

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