GSN Gathering of Team Leaders
Updated: Aug 13, 2019
The 10 regions were represented by attendees who shared the thoughts and heart of the Good Samaritan Network.
The Team Day at the United Baptist church in Concord was well attended, and had representatives from most of the 10 Good Samaritan Network regions. The day was devoted to training the regional core teams in familiarizing the Pastors and church leaders in their regions about the mission, vision, and strategy of the Good Samaritan Network, how to invite them to become drug recovery ministry partners, and to invite them to our upcoming April 13th church leader training day.
Kathie Saari, of the Gates Recovery Center opened by sharing about her experiences in church-based/love-based recovery ministry. She cited several points about addiction and recovery. She spoke briefly about the difference between being sober and experiencing healing. She also talked about the need to recognize that every person in crisis is at a different place and needs to be met right where they are at. We need to pray for them, minister to their immediate needs, and love them and help them pursue brain detoxification, inner healing, and renewal of their minds. She recognized that not all people seeking help are yet ready to be “in recovery”, but we need to pray that each of these “Treasures” gets to this point of readiness.
Kathie closed by talking about how their ministry provides life classes and support groups, advocates for people in court, finds transitional housing or host families for people, and brokers resources to get people the help that they need. In her closing, Kathie also made an appeal for Recovery Coach Academies (RCAs) and discussed what a difference that will be made when church people are trained. She ended by reminding us of the upcoming April 13th training.
Joe Johnsick spoke of our calling to carry out the mission of the GSN, both as individuals and collectively. He referenced Luke 10:25-37, citing that just like the Good Samaritan in the Bible, we need to have compassion, give of our time, and be financially involved.
Dena Stahlheber and Jon Beam spoke to the need of prayer; praying for a mind of Christ. It was noted that we have one thing that the state doesn’t have - Jesus, who heals. Goals and communication tools were also talked about. A trifold handout telling of our beginnings, our vision and how to get churches involved was introduced. A Good Samaritan Network Service Diagram and a handout explaining “what your church can do about the addiction crisis” were introduced and distributed.
After the break Nick Clark and Dick Kiernan talked about how to invite our neighborhood churches to become GSN partners and how these churches can be very effective in the after care segment of recovery. Also mentioned was how churches can be involved as either a GSN Partner Church or a GSN Advocate Church. They also covered the 5 first things a church can do as a partner. Kevin Jurovaty then explained how we form our GSN regional teams.
At the end, a panel of three of the expert speakers discussed the challenges that we might be faced with as we collaborate with recovery agencies and diverse churches. For example, how to interact with the various recovery/addiction paradigms and how to be “all things to all people” in a spirit of love.
This one-day training was a great introduction to the regional leaders giving them a great foretaste of the April 13th training, and showing them how to introduce churches to GSN and its partner church strategy.
Article by Mike Lennon
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