Addiction & Lent

Timothy McMahan King Drug Education, Events, Harm Reduction

“Let justice roll down like waters.”
Amos 5:24

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

“How do I get others to care?” is a question I hear all the time. 

It is a perennial challenge for activists and advocates of all kinds. There is no shortage of important issues and causes to which we can all give our time and attention. But how do we get others to share our passion?

While there isn’t an easy answer to this question, there is one practical tip I like to give: 

Start where people are at, not where you want them to be. 

Most people aren’t looking around for a new cause. If they were, our job would be easy. We all live with many competing demands on our time and attention. Engaging new people in an important cause often comes through connecting it to other interests and priorities they already have. 

The Christian season of Lent is coming soon. It is a time we feel the pain of loss and the promise of new life to come. It is a season that calls us to reflect on many of the same themes we see in stories of addiction and recovery.

Churches and pastors across the country have found Lent a valuable time to engage their congregations and communities in reflection on the challenges of addiction in our society and the hope the Church can bring for healing by ending our culture of violence and punishment. 

I’m partnering with the Center of Addiction and Faith to host a Zoom meeting next week about engaging churches around addiction, overdoses, and the War on Drugs this Lenten season. While the conversation will center around the Christian tradition, all people are welcome to attend to see how they might apply these lessons in their context. 

While there are lots of ways to connect Lent to these issues, I’ll focus on some of the themes of my book Addiction Nation: What the Opioid Crisis Reveals About Us. And provide resources and strategies for using the book as a conversation starter in your community. 

This will be a Zoom meeting to allow for discussion and questions. During the meeting, you will:

  • Learn more about how Lent connects with themes of addiction and drug policy.
  • Receive a free 6-week study guide to accompany Addiction Nation.
  • Have an opportunity to sign up to have the author join your book group for a virtual Q&A for free.
  • Get the opportunity to bulk order books for up to 50% off retail price.

If you’ve been looking for a way to start a conversation in your community, we hope you’ll join us. Starting these kinds of conversations can be challenging, and we hope to support you on that

Keep the Faith, 

Timothy McMahan King 
Senior Fellow, Clergy for a New Drug Policy