The Holy Friendship Collaborative can better pursue its goal of healing the heart of southern Appalachia from addiction if it commits to unite education with action.

Drawing from the guidance and example of Duke Divinity School’s Reimagining Health Collaborative (RHC), local churches will be equipped to engage more fully in God’s healing and restoring work through innovative and faithful practices of health and health care related to the opioid crisis. Our proposed timeline of events is below:

Proposed Timeline

December 2, 2018: Community-wide Prayer Night

December 2018: Recruit and hire project facilitator

January 31, 2019: An organizational meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 PM on Thursday January 31, 2019 at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center located One Partnership Circle, Abingdon, VA 24210. Dinner will be provided, so please RSVP here: http://holyfriendshipcollaborative.com/gatherings/

January – February, 2019: Engage with and recruit congregations, through community/informational gatherings led by the project facilitator that include practical overviews of the opioid epidemic, discussion of congregations assets, and an understanding of each congregation’s community

February – March, 2019:

  • Formal church collaborative (8-12 churches) – Identify and select, in consultation with the Holy Friendship steering committee, 8-12 congregations to participate in a Holy Friendship Collaborative Cohort; Each congregation should have one clergy or ministerial staff member serving on their team, as well as 3-5 lay leader(s)
  • Partnering churches – Facilitate collaborations among churches from finite geographic areas to address addiction in their area. Churches will be coached by a facilitator.
  • Collaborating individuals – Develop connections among Christians around various areas of need (e.g., mentoring moms who have NAS babies, helping with  transportation, providing job training, writing letters to prisoners, providing meals for treatment programs). Many individuals have a heart for people living with addiction, but that may not be shared by their whole church. The HFC Facilitator will help to make these connections.

March – June, 2019:

  • Formal church collaborative (8-12 churches) – Discernment: engage in additional theological study and discussion and identify values, practices, needs and gifts in their own congregations and communities. Congregations will meet with the project facilitator at least monthly; congregations will meet with one another if appropriate and possible.
  • Partnering churches – Continue coaching and facilitating community-based collaborative efforts among churches in finite geographic areas
  • Collaborating individuals – Continue to facilitate connections among Christians around various areas of need (e.g., mentoring moms who have NAS babies, helping with  transportation, providing job training, writing letters to prisoners, providing meals for treatment programs).

July 2019 – June 2020:

  • Formal church collaborative (8-12 churches) – Implementation: Congregational teams implement ideas for new or expanded programs or practices in response to the opioid challenges in their communities. Monthly consultation with the project facilitator continues throughout this time.
  • Partnering churches – Continue coaching and facilitating community-based collaborative efforts among churches in finite geographic areas
  • Collaborating individuals – Continue to facilitate connections among Christians around various areas of need (e.g., mentoring moms who have NAS babies, helping with  transportation, providing job training, writing letters to prisoners, providing meals for treatment programs).

Past Events