Houses of worship now talking heroin and opioid addictions

EPHRATA, Pa. (WHTM) – In the quiet pews at the Evangel Assembly of God church in Ephrata, there are talks happening that never have before.

Gloria Sylvester works for the church and is the pastor’s wife. She told ABC27 News they are confronting the heroin and opioid problem that seems to be crippling the Midstate.

“We really wanted to bring it out of the shadows and give people an awareness,” she said. “Our faith should be much more than a Sunday morning experience. It’s got to be way more than that, so we want to resource people, we want to educate them.”

Houses of worship around the Midstate are having similar discussions. Catholics plan to tackle the issue during a “Theology on Tap” event in York. Members of the Market Square Presbyterian Church and Hadee Mosque, both in Harrisburg, have had similar talks.

Omar Henriquez, executive director of the Goal Project, said they are helping churches get the resources to help folks deal with addictions.

“Now what we’re trying to embrace is don’t be ashamed,” he said. “Addiction happens. We’re not selling a service, we’re not selling treatment, we’re selling the awareness.”

“That’s our goal,” Sylvester added. “We want to reach out and love people and we want people to feel like they’re loved when they come here, no matter what.”

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