Opiate Task Force Invites Churches Across the Commonwealth to Participate in Recovery Sunday – Sept. 17th, 2017

Download Recovery Sunday Press Release as PDF.



Opiate Task Force Invites Churches Across the Commonwealth to Participate in Recovery Sunday – Sept. 17th, 2017

Urbanna VA, July 28, 2017—Virginia’s Middle Peninsula Opioid Addiction Task Force (Task Force) invites churches across the Commonwealth to participate in a recovery focus Sunday on September 17th, to kick off National Opioid and Heroin Awareness Week. Free recovery-focused Bible study resources for all ages are being developed in partnership with the Baptist General Association of Virginia’s (BGAV) Ministers in Residence. Churches of all denominations are encouraged to participate.

In January of 2017, Virginia House Delegate Keith Hodges, of Virginia’s 98th District, convened the Middle Peninsula Opioid Addiction Task Force. Hodges, also a longtime pharmacist, states “The task force has done much work in brainstorming and putting in place many strategic initiatives to help with this epidemic. Recovery Sunday will enable the faith based community to reach out to individuals in rural areas in every corner of the region.”

Pastor Jonathan Davis, who serves on the Task Force and pastors Beale Memorial Baptist Church in Tappahannock, says “By hosting a recovery focus Sunday, churches have the opportunity to address an issue that increasingly impacts many of our families. There is not a community or church in America not impacted by the opioid epidemic.”

The opioid crisis is far reaching, and the Task Force recognizes faith communities as some of the strongest potential allies for prevention and awareness. Pastors from across the BGAV are providing tips on hosting a recovery focused worship service, as well as prayers, litanies, responsive readings, and sermon outlines. All resources for Recovery Sunday (including children’s coloring pages, suggested music for worship, and artwork for worship slides and bulletins) can be downloaded for free at www.recoverysunday.org. New content will become available all summer.

The opioid and heroin epidemic is everywhere, including Virginia’s Tidewater region. The Task Force (now with over one-hundred members) makes up primarily of representatives from recovery organizations, law enforcement, the Community Services Board, the Virginia Departments of Social Services, Health and Human Services, the Attorney General’s office, Commonwealth’s Attorneys, and faith based representatives. After months of meeting and identifying needs, one need that emerged was a lack of involvement on the part of faith communities.
Chief Deputy Garth Wheeler of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Department was tapped by Delegate Hodges to chair the Task Force. Wheeler says, “This Task Force is comprised of leaders from the Middle Peninsula in various professions from the private and public sector. The faith based community is a necessary element to ensure success for our efforts. Jonathan’s work to get the churches more involved in this crisis is paramount and greatly appreciated.”


Recovery Sunday is an opportunity for congregations to have a recovery focus Sunday – giving theological voice to the issues of addiction and recovery. To subscribe for updates when content becomes available, visit www.recoverysunday.org today.


For additional information please contact:

Delegate Keith Hodges – Virginia’s 98th District
Office: 804-277-9801
Email: delkhodges@house.virginia.gov

Rev. Jonathan Davis – Sr. Pastor, Beale Memorial Baptist Church
Cell: 804-824-3708
Email: rev.jonathan.h.davis@gmail.com

Chief Deputy Garth Wheeler – Middlesex County Sherriff’s Office
Office: 804-758-2779
Email: g.wheeler@co.middlesex.va.us

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