Opioid Crisis Resource List

New Jersey Addiction Services Hotline:

1.844.276.2777 for assistance and referral to treatment

REACH NJ: Gov. Chris Christie’s initiative


844.REACH.NJ (844.732.2465)

–A clearinghouse for support for those seeking treatment and support for their families

“In my experience, there are as many active addicts and alcoholics upstairs in churches as there are downstairs. But the ability to be honest about it and seek help unfortunately is a challenge for most people.”

Pastor Mike Clark

Preach, Pray, Partner


Candlelight Vigil or Remembrance Day Event for those who have lost loved ones to addiction


Lenten Devotional:

“Into the Light: Join the Conversation” (Written for 2017, easily adapted)



“Celebrate Recovery” from Saddleback Church, Rick Warren and John Baker

“Celebrate Recovery uses the language of hurts, habits and hang-ups,” said Mark McNeese, a pastoral assistant at First Church. “It’s a Christ-centered program based on the eight principles that are found within the Beatitudes. It also follows the regular 12-step program.”

Drug Policy Reform Resources (listed below)


Drug Policy Task Force Recommended Resources

Papers and Studies

Video and Film




  • Addiction and Grace, Gerald G. May, Harper One, 1988 (available in Resource Center)
  • Chasing the Scream, Johann Hari, Bloomsbury Circus, 2015
  • Dealing Death and Drugs, Beto O’Rourke and Susie Byrd, Cinco Puntos Press, 2011
  • Drug Crazy: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out, Mike Gray, Routledge, 2000
  • Drug War Zone: Frontline Dispatches from the Streets of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Howard Campbell, University of Texas, 2009
  • The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander, The New Press, 2011
  • Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow, Daniel Hunter, Veterans of Hope Project, 2015
  • To Die in Mexico, John Gibler, City Lights, 2011
  • Victims & Sinners, Linda Mercadante, Westminster John Knox Press, 1996

Presbyterian Mission Agency Resources (available on-line)

  • Addiction, Grace and Healing
  • Celebrating the Miracle

An Idea for Newton Presbytery:

Because there is shame associated with addiction, find a church (or churches) with whom to partner to host a support group for families dealing with substance abuse.  If several of our churches host support groups, people can drive a distance from their own community and still feel anonymous but get the support they need.  If you’re interested, contact your Resourcing Coordinator, Robin Miller Currás who will convene a planning meeting: [email protected].

A Ministry of Comfort for the Grieving

If you knit or crochet and participate in a Prayer Shawl Ministry, you can spread the graces of this specialized ministry internationally. Your modest contribution can support the mission of Ruling Elder Darlene Tapie of the First Presbyterian Church of Blairstown who launched this ministry internationally.  It has expanded in the past four years by her services offered within the Newton-Nairobi Partnership.

Visiting our Kenyan mission partners initially in 2015, Darlene introduced Women Guild groups of several congregations to the concept of Prayer Shawl Ministry, which has provided her and thousands of U.S. women a channel for contributing the skill of their hands to the healing of broken hearts and spirits. Hearing Kenyans’ expressed desire to learn more and develop greater skills in knitting and crocheting, Darlene returned self-funded in 2017, introducing more congregations in Nairobi, women in rural Kibwezi, and even some young boys to learning the skills and launching their own Prayer Shawl Ministries and she is returning in July-August, 2018, her travel being funded this trip by an “angel.”


Darlene presents a shawl to Mrs. Fridah Mugambi, recovering from illness, at a Women Guild meeting in Chogoria, Kenya, June 2017.

The ministry’s goal is to provide an encouraging support network of prayer for persons and households dealing with serious illness, grief or other prolonged challenges to the human spirit, with the suffering person(s) presented a knitted/crocheted shawl created by a group of women who assure the recipient(s) they will be remembering them daily in prayer. When a Prayer Shawl is given to someone it is an absolute GIFT without anything required from the recipient – no money, no requirement to come to church, no further contact unless the recipient initiates it.

It costs about KSh 1000 ($10) to purchase needles and yarn in Kenya for supplying each individual with the materials needed to begin learning and producing her/his first piece. Darlene would welcome your contribution to assist Kenyan women to make the purchase of materials more manageable for those with minimal income. On the home page of Newton Presbytery’s website, click the “Online Giving” button to make your contribution.

Get those needles clicking and clacking!

Church Emails (for Beginners)

Every Thanksgiving, I go to a open house at the home of my preschool Sunday School teacher, Mrs. L. in Islip, New York.  I get to see people that I grew up with, people who loved me into faith and for whom I care deeply.  Darien, who was sooooo much older than me when I was a kid and is now a peer asked, “Are you on the Prayer Chain?”  No, I wasn’t.  She rectified that, and I have since received EVERY COMMUNICATION THAT MY HOME CHURCH PUTS OUT.  Seriously?!  They can’t have a “Prayer Chain List” and a “Newsletter List” and a “Who Can Help at the Food Pantry” list?  I actually called the church to encourage the pastor/admin/whoever-would-listen to create different lists.  “I really just want to be able to pray for the people I know and love.”  The person on the other side of the line seemed overwhelmed.  If that sounds like you: take a deep breath; let it out; it’s really not that hard.

I’ve done a little research to help you.

Your email provider has a way for you to create a contact list and put people into groups.  For a recent mailing for my Resourcing Coordinator gig, I created three groups: one for Morris County Clergy, Morris County Churches, and one for each individual church in which I included pastor, admin and clerk of session.  This is straightforward.  You can do this in your church for the choir, Sunday School families, food pantry volunteers, etc…

If you want to be fancy and grab people’s attention, use an Email Marketing Company. These user-friendly apps can help you create a lovely banner (picture at the top of the email), and send out your short-but-sweet messages.

MailChimp is the only free provider that I found.

Constant Contact is very popular but costs you money.

Flocknote was developed for churches and enables you to text as well as email.  It’s free for churches that have 40 contacts or less.  People can actually RSVP with a click using this app.  Very cool!

With all of these, you can track to see who is actually opening your emails, who unsubscribes, who clicks on links, etc…  It’s called “Analytics.”

There are a ton of applications out there to use and try.  I’m giving you three.

I’ll say more about this in a future blog post, but respect people’s time.  Don’t clutter inboxes with emails that don’t pertain to them or that don’t interest them.  Keep it short and sweet! Tell them how they can get involved!  Make it easy!

If you have ideas you’d like to share, please comment below.  Also, if you’d like to host a gathering of interested folks to learn more about using these tools, let me know!

Grace and peace,


PS–The greatest communication tool we have to share our faith is our very lives.  That is my prayer for you and for me.

Emergency Alerts Across Generations

What if you could create one message and send it out to the friends and members of your church based on their communication preference?  You can.

Text?  Yes.

Phone Call?  Yes.

Email?  Yes.

So, when it snows and you decide to cancel worship on Sunday morning, you can send out a message to millennials, boomers, and the silent generation in one fell-swoop.  (Gen-Xers weren’t coming anyway.)*

Mid-week meeting?  No one wants to venture out on the slick roads?  Yep.  One message via phone, text, or email.

I found two companies that are geared for churches.  If you know of another or use another service, PLEASE comment below!!!

Check out http://www.onecallnow.com/religious or http://www.call-em-all.com.

One-Call-Now offers a yearly subscription for as low as $250 for small churches with a 50-person call list to $1000 for a 500-person call list.  That includes unlimited alerts throughout the year.  You can contact sub-groups, e.g. the choir, Sunday School, etc…  They have a referral program that could benefit the presbytery so please contact your friendly Resource Coordinator, me, to officially refer you and then you can get a quote.  A win-win.  ([email protected])

With Call-Em-All, you buy credits which will cost you 9 cents per credit.  A less-than 30 second message will cost you one credit multiplied by the numbers of contacts you make.  So–

100 contacts x 9 cents = $9.00

50 contacts x 9 cents = $4.50

25 contact x 9 cents = $2.25

You get the idea.

Let me know if this was helpful to you!

Grace and peace,


PS–May the silence of snowfall, the exquisite construction of a bare tree, and the imposed Sabbath of a snow day draw you closer to your Creator.

*It’s a joke.  I’m Gen-X.


May 12th Presbytery Meeting Registration