Local United Methodists Aim To Raise More Than $100,000 To Fight Opioid Addiction

Friday, April 26, 2019

Local United Methodists are raising more than $100,000 to fight the opioid crisis they say is tearing away at communities in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and North Georgia. 

By mid-June, the 872 United Methodist congregations of Holston Conference expect to take a significant offering that will help create new ministries or strengthen existing programs that help families and individuals struggling with addiction, officials said. 

The Rev. Tim Jones said the mission campaign will kick off the week after Easter Sunday, April 21. 
“Resurrection begins at Easter. It doesn’t end at Easter,” said Rev. Jones, director of communications. “As Easter people in Holston Conference, we want to celebrate new life and resurrection through ministries that address the opioid crisis.”

United Methodist churches will take special offerings throughout May, then take their offerings to the Holston Annual Conference held June 9-12 in Lake Junaluska, NC. “The funds will then be distributed through grants to churches that want to fight drug addiction in their communities,” said Rev. Jones. 

Every year, Holston Conference collects more than $100,000 for a designated mission. In 2018, church members gave $110,191 for South Sudanese children and pastors living as refugees in Uganda. In 2017, church members gave $105,588 to provide education and care for children in Zimbabwe.

Holston Conference leaders chose opioid addiction as their 2019 mission focus after surveyed church members indicated it as a disease affecting many families in their communities, according to Rev. Jones. The United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline states: “We commit ourselves to assisting those who suffer from abuse or dependence, and their families, in finding freedom through Jesus Christ and in finding good opportunities for treatment, for ongoing counseling and for reintegration into society.”

Several United Methodist churches in the Chattanooga/ Cleveland area already host recovery worship or related support groups, including Dunlap, First Copperhill, Grace (Soddy Daisy), Harrison, Hixson, McKendree (Jasper), Mountain View (Dayton), Ooltewah, Red Bank, St. Marks, Trenton, Tyner, Wauhatchie and White Oak. 

"The grants will not only support those ministries, but will also inspire other ways congregations can prevent drug abuse or support families struggling with addiction, such as providing transportation to attend support groups, hosting “sober living” activities, providing meals or child care for grandparents raising the children of addicted parents and partnering with law enforcement or hospitals to host unused prescription “take-back” events," officials said.

“Families in our church have been impacted by this epidemic, having lost loved ones and living with the sense of loss from a life cut short by substance abuse,” said Eric Light, leader of the recovery ministry at Ooltewah United Methodist Church. “Recovery @ Ooltewah is a resource for not only those who are addicted, but also their families, who struggle with how to help their loved ones without enabling their abuse.”

Holston Conference includes about 160,000 members in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia and North Georgia. The organization’s main office is located in Alcoa, Tn.


John Shearer: Local Edwards Family’s Civil Rights Work Chronicled In Video

Dr. Mark Mendenhall Called As LDS Church Leader

Bob Tamasy: Teachability: A Much-Underrated Trait


A “Bessie’s Front Porch” video featuring an interview with John L. Edwards III and Valitus Edwards regarding the civil rights work of their late father, the Rev. John Loyd Edwards Jr., was recently ... (click for more)

Dr. Mark Mendenhall has been called to serve as branch president, or ecclesiastical leader, for the Signal Mountain branch (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dr. ... (click for more)

When do we stop learning? I vaguely remember my first days of kindergarten, a little guy walking down cavernous hallways to the classroom where a lot of unfamiliar faces greeted me. ‘What have ... (click for more)



Church

John Shearer: Local Edwards Family’s Civil Rights Work Chronicled In Video

A “Bessie’s Front Porch” video featuring an interview with John L. Edwards III and Valitus Edwards regarding the civil rights work of their late father, the Rev. John Loyd Edwards Jr., was recently released. Part of an effort by the Bessie Smith Cultural Center to have dialogue regarding race relations, the video features the two sons discussing with Elijah Cameron of the ... (click for more)

Dr. Mark Mendenhall Called As LDS Church Leader

Dr. Mark Mendenhall has been called to serve as branch president, or ecclesiastical leader, for the Signal Mountain branch (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dr. Mendenhall holds the J. Burton Frierson Chair of Excellence in Business Leadership at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (UTC). He received his B.S. in psychology and Ph.D. in social ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Police Chief Roddy Says Violence In Chattanooga Mirroring That In Many Other Cities

Police Chief David Roddy said a surge in violence in Chattanooga since late May is mirroring that of many other cities across the country. He said homicides and aggravated assaults here are up 17 percent and criminal shootings have risen 24 percent. At the same time, other categories or crime are about the same or trending down. Chief Roddy said, "There are a lot of theories" ... (click for more)

Hamilton, Bledsoe, Bradley, Marion And Sequatchie Counties Have New Coronavirus Deaths

The Hamilton County Health Department reported Tuesday that the total number of Hamilton County resident deaths has risen to 56, an increase of one since Monday. Total cases now are 6,278 in Hamilton County, up 87. There are 4,763 people that have recovered from the virus in the county. The number of COVID patients in Intensive Care has increased one since Monday to 27. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Best Wishes To HCDE's Tim Hensley In His Retirement

I have filed many open records requests over the years, and no open records administrator has performed as HCDE’s Tim Hensley. It is truly lala land seeking public records from governments and their agencies. There are many methods utilized to render public records unattainable to citizens, such as making the records cost prohibitive, government attorneys declaring their entire ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Lunchbox Letters

You’ll remember the COVID crisis abruptly ended the 2019-20 school year in April and then followed a miserable four months where the flu effectively prohibited our children from seeing their friends, playing Little League baseball and being on the swim team. Our psychologists tell us the children have also suffered from “negative mental health issues.” Children need to begin catching ... (click for more)