Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
On Sunday, September 16 we will have the joy of being witnesses to the baptism of Morgan Barbara Vassel. On that Sunday, on her behalf, her parents, God parents, and her congregation will be promising the following:
Over the past month or so, this promise and the call that God has placed on each of our lives has been on the forefront of my mind, especially our call to care for others and the world God made and to work for justice and peace. One of the pieces of information that I have learned about our country and the state of Michigan is that drug overdoses, specifically those occurring because of opioids are hitting hard. In fact, in 2017 in the state of Michigan deaths as a result of drug overdose (2,662) exceeded those that were a result of traffic (1,028) and gun deaths (1,230) combined. Michigan is the 8th state in the country and Macomb County is the 2nd in the state for deaths because of overdose. This epidemic has hit so hard that presentations and trainings are being held in order to help community members understand how to prevent overdoses and react when an overdose has happened. We live in a broken world in need of God’s love.
We live in a broken world in which we are called to care for others and to work for justice and peace. While there are stereotypes and preconceived ideas about those who would take drugs or become addicted, this is an epidemic that does not discriminate. It has effected various age groups, socio-economic statuses, genders, and race.
On September 22, we have an opportunity to stand with and support one of our own who have been affected by this disease. Judy Urbin and her family have begun planning a benefit in honor of her son Michael. This benefit will serve two purposes: (1) to raise awareness of the issue and to give resources to those who are struggling so that they might get the help they need, and (2) to raise money for Hope Not Handcuffs and Michael’s son and Judy’s grandson’s education fund.
It is being hosted at Hometown Heroes Coffee & More (25029 Van Dyke Ave. Center Line). Tickets are $10 in advance (we have them at the church office) and $15 at the door. Your ticket includes a sandwich, salad, beverage, cookie, and one raffle ticket. If you cannot attend there are ways to help (you can see Pastor, Judy, or Vickki for this information) and you can pray for those who are affected.
May we continue to care for others and work for justice and peace together.
With Peace and Prayers,
Pastor Joyce A. Partyka Staib
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