As the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Oregon begins another busy Church year, it is an appropriate time to refresh and remind ourselves of one very important resolution passed by the 74th General Convention, held in Salt Lake City in June and July. Though only one of three on the same topic, General Convention Resolution of Policy A 158 on Substance Abuse, Addiction and Recovery requires us to establish some new behaviors in our churches.
As quoted from an article from the Episcopal News Service at the time of the convention:
“I’m Mark and I’m an alcoholic,” said Bishop Mark Hollingsworth of Ohio, chair of the Legislative Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, as he introduced the resolutions to the House of Bishops and acknowledged his own journey of addiction and recovery.
Hollingsworth said that the committee represented “hundreds of years of sobriety and recovery.” He expressed “profound gratitude” to the presiding bishop and the president of the House of Deputies for establishing the committee and thanked all the bishops for their affirmation of the work.
Other actions taken by General Convention also addressed these issues. Resolution A159 acknowledges the church’s role in the culture of alcohol and drug abuse and is intended to give direction in how the church can move forward in owning that reality of complicity and in healing. Resolution D014 established a policy of directly questioning ordinands about substance abuse.
Resolution of Policy 158, also linked below, establishes the Church’s response. Please read the resolution carefully and be sure to revise any congregational practices as needed to comply with this resolution.