An Episcopal (Anglican) Chaplain in retirement, reflecting on work and faith and life. NOTA BENE: my opinions are my own and do not represent the Episcopal Church or any health system that has ever employed me.
Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention call all dioceses and parishes in The Episcopal Church to respond to the opioid epidemic with training, pastoral care, advocacy, and liturgy; and be it further
Resolved, That dioceses and parishes be encouraged to: partner with First Responders and others in the medical community to host trainings on how to administer Narcan in the event of an overdose; partner with other faith communities and recovery programs in their local contexts to offer pastoral care to those affected by this epidemic; partner with other faith leaders to advocate with local and state government regarding policies and laws to promote healing and wholeness for those affected by this epidemic; and to lift up the needs of those affected by the epidemic in the Prayers of the People; and be it further
Resolved, That the 79th General Convention direct the Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church to advocate for the federal government of the United States to address this as public health crisis, affirming that opioid addiction is a disease, which needs adequate resources for treatment options; and be it further
Resolved, That the 79th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to develop additional liturgical resources to address the needs and concerns of those whose lives have been profoundly affected by this epidemic.
THis is certainly not the first resolution relating to addition, including to opioids. At the same time, it is certainly timely. In addition, the call to the Standing Commission for Liturgy and Music suggests responses that are within our tradition of addressing important needs with both social and liturgical responses. The call to make Narcan more widely available could save lives. In the hands of more professionals, and especially of those who are in the field, could be helpful indeed. Whether that can extend beyond professionals could be debated. However, this is a worthwhile effort. I do expect it will pass, if perhaps adapted.