Long Island’s Continued Fight Against Opioid Abuse (Pastoral Thoughts)

Recently I had the opportunity to meet with a few concerned and diligent community organizers/ social workers in regards to Project Safety Net (www.projectsafetynet.org). This was a follow-up and review of a previous meeting I had not attended, however I was encouraged and impressed with work that is on the horizon.

  • Discussions regarding the National Emergency Opioid Grant provided by the Department of Labor were had. Also, talk about the Drug-Free Community Grant was had as well. These are great resources and opportunity for those engaged in the fight against opioid abuse. More information and utilization of these grants are surely necessary.
  • These need for a community-based structure and network was encouraged rather than overly administrative.
  • Taking notice that we met the evening of an early LI-CAN training on May 23rd demonstrates the continued struggle of the various efforts in the fight against opioids on Long Island to properly coordinate and be aware of the various efforts happening around us. Prayerfully, we can work on better working together.
  • It was marked out that a big part of our right is to respond to the issue that many on Long Island “have nothing to do”. Therefore many feel “marooned”. A lack of mobility, lack of a healthy culture and environments that are organic and natural, and a lack authentic-relation mentoring are all contributing factors to drug-abuse on Long Island. We must be creatively thinking – what can be done?

 

As I sat through the meeting, listening intently and enjoying the details brought forth, I did what each of us responsibly engaged in the fight should be doing. I began to examine my work (past-present-future) in these regards. Here are some thoughts that were discussed and/or were in my head throughout the meeting.

My current focal points:

  • My ministerial work and presence at The Blue Point Bible Church (www.bluepointbiblechurch.org) has allowed for a continued “making known the manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10)” in an effort to demolish strongholds (including but surely not limited to drug-abuse). As a responsible pastor, I have continued to engage the church and secular community about the need to bring healing to the devastating disease of addiction and those who suffer from and because of it.  Also, we allow to building to be used for the hosting of Heroin Anonymous.
  •  As a member of the Blue Point Community Civic Association (www.facebook.com/BluePointCommunityCivic/) I have worked with and assisted our civic president and board in engaging county officials, school district administration, and community members about the need for rezoning to be analyzed regarding the need for rehabilitation facilities on Long Island. The BPCCA continues to work for the advancement of proper consideration in these regards.
  •  I have worked with LI-CAN (Long Island – Congregations, Associations, and Neighborhoods) to continue to foster awareness and healing by collaborative community efforts including every person possible.

Other efforts and plans:

#ProjectRESTORE & The XD Movement – Both of these efforts aim to exemplify the beauty of restored and extremely different lives. Through various efforts such as weekly self-examination and mentoring, planning clean up, and other fun activities, we seek to see the answers to our prayers.

Dorothy Johnson, through her effort Maxxed Out Prevention continues to plan and participate in events. One was mentioned for September 25th (more information to  be provided soon).

Therese Bertsch mentioned Taizé prayer as an opportunity to bless and heal others. Consideration of church and secular opportunities to host should be considered.

Also, discussion was had about a possible activity/effort such as a bonfire, boating trip, hiking, or something of the like to be hosted on August 31st – International Overdose Awareness Day.

 

Kind Regards,
Michael Miano, pastor
The Blue Point Bible Church

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