Rev. Erica Poellot
Rev. Jack Abel
Addiction: Crisis and Call
How can leaders and community members respond to substance use concerns within and around their context of ministry? This workshop is offered in response to mental health challenges involving substance use and misuse. Participants will come to understand substance use and acute use disorders as psychobiosocial experience frequently accompanied by trauma and struggle. Multiple pathways to healing exist. Harm reduction is one of those; recovery movements that emphasize total abstinence also contribute to the landscape of thoughtful response. We will consider how expansive and compassionate stances support an integrative approach that can engage and support people in all stages of change.
Rev. Jack Abel is an ordained UCC chaplain and faith leader in long-term recovery who serves as the “Senior Director of Spiritual Care” for Caron Treatment Centers, headquartered in Wernersville, Pennsylvania. He holds both a Master of Divinity and an MBA, and serves on the board of directors of the UCC Mental Health Network.
Erica Poellot is the Director of Faith in Harm Reduction at National Harm Reduction Coalition. As a faith leader in long-term recovery, Erica founded Faith in Harm Reduction to co-create a justice movement which connects people who use drugs, people who trade sex, and communities of faith through the development of harm reduction centered spiritual resources, ritual support, and spiritual care. With joint MDiv/MSW degrees from Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University in NYC, Erica also works as the Senior Ministry Innovator at Judson Memorial Church in NYC and coordinates the Overdose and Drug Use Ministries for the National setting of the United Church of Christ.
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