NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Sept. 22, 2023) – This Sunday, thousands of local churchgoers will see how faith transformed the lives of two people battling addiction.
More than 140 churches with a combined membership of more than 8,000 are participating in Empower Tusc’s Hope Sunday initiative. All will play a video called “What Hope Does” that Coordinator Jodi Salvo says is a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit.
“This one is two people sharing their recovery story, so where they were. They both came into addiction in very different ways. One was an accident and he became addicted to opiod medication that was prescribed. But then you see the great things that they’re doing in our communities now.”
It’s the sixth year the coalition has produced an inspirational video about substance use for area churches to share on one Sunday in September, which is National Recovery Month. Salvo says each ends with a call to embrace and support those who are struggling.
“You don’t need to preach. You don’t necessarily need to do anymore more but to let people know, especially if they’re in active addiction, ‘You are loved. You are heard, and you are cared for.’”
Participating churches also received a sermon script and bulletins listing local recovery resources to pass out to members after the service.