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WE THIRST: LESSONS IN MERCY©
Christian reflections on addiction
This comprehensive series of five* contemplative sessions are designed for ALL MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH including the afflicted and their families and friends, counselors, nurses, priests, pastors, deacons, chaplains, etc., those in the criminal justice system, educators, and anyone who would like to learn more to become part of a solution.
We will explore the epidemic of addiction in our society and our responsibility as followers of Christ in responding to those who are suffering — the marginalized, the sick, the oppressed.
This series is designed to educate and spread awareness, but unlike other secular programs this Christian series offers HOPE AND SUPPORT, ENCOURAGES COMMUNITY, FOSTERS MERCY, FAITH, AND LOVE.
The five sessions may be scheduled consecutively or weekly. The series may also be offered as a weekend retreat.
*NOTE: Effective 1/22/2018, The sequel to this series -- A PEOPLE AFIRE -- will be included. A PEOPLE AFIRE initially evolved out of the hope and enthusiasm exhibited by the WE THIRST attendees at the conclusion of the series. For more information on A PEOPLE AFIRE, click HERE.
session ONE: BIOLOGY
This five-session series begins with a focus on the biology of addiction. We will take a fairly in-depth look at the latest scientific theories of how exactly substances affect the body and the mind. Dependence, tolerance, relapse and denial are just some of the many topics that will be explored. The second half of the evening will include the numerous options available for those seeking recovery including medications, therapies, various support groups and more. Each evening introduces a particular virtue that can be practiced, especially during times of crisis. This session's virtue: PRUDENCE.
session TWO: PSYCHOLOGY
Session two’s focus is on some of the psychological theories that perhaps best explain the use of substances. We will journey through our human growth and development to consider our core wounds and the layers and layers of traits that we wear for protection which ultimately cause more harm than good. We will see that the common denominator in all our misguided attempts (whether using substances or not) is the desire to avoid more pain. The second half of the evening will include what is necessary to make the journey back to our true selves buried deep within. This session's virtue: EMPATHY.
session THREE: SOCIOLOGY
This third session's topic is on the impact of substance abuse on society, with a special focus on the small society of the family. We will learn why exactly addiction is referred to as a “family disease” and how exactly others in the family can become affected when they are not ingesting a substance. Themes such as blame, shame, anger, guilt, grief, caring, codependence, and much more will be explored. As always, the second half of the evening focuses on various solutions as well as some positive changes that are happening in society. This session's virtue: COURAGE.
session FOUR: SPIRITUALITY
The series continues with an examination of our spiritual nature and how and why spirituality is an important part of the recovery process. Oftentimes the use of a substance is a misguided attempt to quench a spiritual thirst or craving. We will explore the missing piece to the puzzle of our lives, the God-shaped hole within each of us, and the only real way that this void can be filled. This session we will discuss not one, but three virtues: FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE.
session Five: action
The We Thirst series concludes with a focus on transformative hope with a call to action. We will explore the nature of authentic Christianity and what it means to be Church, especially amidst the addiction and overdose epidemic. Group formation with a specific action plan will be encouraged and AFIRE Chapter Membership Kits will be provided to start an AFIRE ministry in your parish / congregations.
The provider of this educational event has designed the program so that it may be considered by participants for use as continuing education to enhance the professional knowledge and pastoral competency of chaplains certified through the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc.® an affiliate of the Association of Professional Chaplains™
The fee for the entire series (5 presentations) is $1,250. This includes:
- 4 two-hour comprehensive educational and inspirational presentations.
- A 5th presentation which includes roundtable discussion and community formation.
- Free AFIRE Chapter Membership Kit to start an AFIRE ministry in your parish.
- Also included are a plethora of printed resource materials and inspirational bookmarks, cards, candles, etc. and room enhancements (banners and other props).
- If needed, we will bring all audio and visual equipment (including speaker system, projection screen, projector, and microphones).
Some creative options to fund this event for your community:
- Reach out to a neighboring community/church to co-sponsor the event.
- Charge a registration fee. Churches that charge for the series have had the same attendance (or higher) than those that did not charge a fee. To date, the church that charged the highest fee had one of the highest attendances! You know your congregation best, so judge accordingly.
* NOTE: Mileage rates will be calculated beyond a 60 mile radius (from Bethlehem, PA). Please contact us for extended travel options (out of state, etc.).
Your parish / congregation will be required to make photocopies of handouts for each evening (resources, song lyrics for reflection, etc.). We will provide you with the digital files via email to copy and print.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SCHEDULE THIS EVENT:
Click the button below to schedule the event, and we will contact you.
We sincerely look forward to bringing this important program to your community!