Rural Faith Leaders Workshop Series:

Empowering Faith Leaders to Help Persons with Substance Use Disorder 

May 13, 2021

1:00 P.M. – 2:30 P.M. EDT


“If ever the sum were greater than the parts, it is in combining the power of God, religion and spirituality with the power of science and professional medicine to prevent and treat substance abuse and addiction.” Joseph Califano Jr., Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Partnership to End Addiction

Addressing the overdose and addiction epidemic requires all hands on deck, so we need to harness and empower the powerful resources of everyone who has a stake in health, including the special talents of the faith community. Churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship are positioned in communities to be both first responders and communities of hope for people struggling with addiction. A healthy, safe community is essential to healing and long-term results and this is already part of the local faith communities’ DNA. As the nation begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Faith leaders need information and resources now more than ever to help rural leaders build strong, healthy, drug-free communities.  The Rural Faith Leaders Workshop Series: Empowering Faith Leaders to Help Persons with Substance Use Disorder is a series of four workshops for rural Faith Leaders. Each of the workshops will contain valuable information for Faith Leaders and provide updated information and resources.  The workshops will be recorded and made available on the Rural Community Toolbox site (

 The series has 3 objectives:

  1. Increase the Faith Leaders understanding of substance use disorder and how to connect faith to prevention, treatment, and recovery.
  2. Build the capacity of Faith leaders to take action by providing information to help get leaders and their congregants ready to provide the support needed to assist individuals with substance use disorder.
  3. Help Faith Leaders to find their lane and empower faith communities to put initiatives in place to help in the area(s) where they can make the most difference.

 The series overview:

Workshop 1:  Substance Use Disorder and the Pandemic in Rural Communities
Workshop 2:  Connecting Faith to Prevention
Workshop 3:  Connecting Faith to Treatment
Workshop 4:  Connecting Faith to Recovery

Workshop 2:

The second workshop will take place on May 13, 2021 – 1:00 -2:30 P.M. EDT. It will cover the following:

  • Strategies to combat substance use in rural communities
  • Stopping drug use before it starts, evidence-based prevention strategies that work in rural communities
  • Understanding prevention and identifying the role of the faith community in substance use prevention
  • How to identify and connect the Faith community to prevention activities in your backyard
  • How the faith community can partner to develop faith-based prevention strategies
  • Showcasing innovative faith-based prevention strategies in action

 Scheduled Speakers:

  • Kemp Chester, Assistant Director, National Opioids and Synthetics Coordination Group, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • John Gale, Senior Research Associate, Maine Rural Health Research Center, University of Southern Maine
  • Dr. Christopher Jones, Deputy Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Sydney Turner, Program Specialist, Institute of Youth, Family, and Community, Division of Family & Consumer Sciences, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA
  • Dr. Monty Burks, Director of Special Projects & Faith Based Initiatives, Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
  • Pastor Greg Delaney, Faith Advocate, RECOVERYOHIO
  • Pastor Nathan Chrisman, Founder and Creator of GOODLIFE



If you would like to attend the event, please RSVP to Betty-Ann Bryce at this email Please include your name, title, organization, state/county, and contact information/email address. Registered participants will receive the details to join the event closer to the event date. Click here to learn more.





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Shakopee, MN