Ron Alexander, a member of St. John Episcopal Church in Wausau, noted growth from participation in a recent summit addressing the opiod crisis. "As a person of faith, the recent Recovery Summit-Road to Recovery was impactful" Ron noted, "because it allowed me to live out my Baptismal Covenant, especially: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself; and to focus on the Cursillo goal of involvement in Apostolic action."
Over 100 people attended the summit in Wausau November 8, 2017. Learning objectives included the impact of addiction and the hope of recovery for individuals, families and communities, reflected in a documentary titled, Straight Forward:The truth about Addiction. Best practices around the state were presented by those leading efforts to build communities supportive of recovery. These efforts include recovery coaching (which Ron is involved in), sober living, transitional employment, social supports, sense of purpose and more.
Speakers included a clinical substance abuse counselor, vocational learning coordinator, a public health educator and a local attorney who serves as a guardian ad litem for youth. Funding for the summit came partially from the Outreach Fund of the Diocese of Fond du Lac. Other partners included the Northwoods Coalition (of over 50 entities from 34 counties) and the Greenheck Foundation.
The Diocese of Fond du Lac, the Episcopal Church in northeast Wisconsin, recently donated almost $15,000 to four agencies that address the opioid epidemic, refugee crisis, and natural disasters domestically and internationally. Recipients are recommended by the Deacon Council and approved by the Executive Council who release funds from its Outreach Reserve.
Episcopal Relief and Development received support to respond to recent U.S. disasters and to meet global needs (episcopalrelief.org). World Relief was selected to assist their efforts in addressing the refugee crisis (worldrelief.org). A local gift to Marathon County (Wisconsin) AOD Partnership Council provides support for a November summit to address the Opioid Crisis (aodpartnership.org). Another local gift has been made to Koinonia Residential Treatment Center in Rhinelander (koinoniaocs.net) that will assist them in providing substance abuse treatment.
Since 2004, the Diocese has donated $120,000 to a number of agencies, programs and opportunities, locally and around the world, that are beyond diocesan structures with the intent to give outside of ourselves to the greater glory of God. Past recipients have included disaster relief in the United States and around the world, medical needs in underdeveloped countries, program support for struggling ministries, just to name a few.