End the Stigma

braveLast Sunday I preached a just-OK sermon about our call to serve the least, the lost, and the last. Last night, I heard one of the best sermons I’ve ever heard about what it means to serve the least, the lost and the last.

Pete Airasian doesn’t call himself a preacher, but his words to a room packed with hundreds of Watertown residents were holy words. Last night, at a Candlelight Vigil, Pete told us of his own struggles with addiction. He explained the shame that comes with this disease — both for the user and for the family and friends who feel like they have failed or been failed by the user. He spoke of his discomfort and amazement that he is still here while many other friends who were addicts have died of overdoses. Pete is now clean and sober, and he is calling on all of us to transform lives.

Pete and a coalition of folks in Watertown are leading Watertown Overcoming Addiction, a season-long campaign to make this community one where everyone is part of the solution to the overdose epidemic that has overtaken us. Last year, one person died of a drug overdose in Watertown. This year, already nine people have died in this way.

There are lots of layers to the scourge of addiction in Watertown and our whole society. All of us need to examine our role in the problem and acknowledge the toll on our families, workplaces, and our souls. Today, twelve ordained clergypersons serving Watertown churches came together to learn more and to prepare to preach on this issue on October 18 and/or 25.

Learn more. Join the campaign. Reach out. And thank you, Peter Airasian and everyone else who is speaking up.


About amymccreath

I'm a pastor and mother who loves to make connections between people, between ideas, and between stuff we label "sacred" and "secular." I aspire to be like a Cedar of Lebanon in the midst of the changes and chances of life, but like most folks, generally find that I can really only navigate the tumult hand in hand with others. Good coffee helps, too.
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