Good Friday Vigil

Friday, April 14, 2017 - 5:30pm

“Beyond Brokenness”

Good Friday Candle Light Vigil to Raise Awareness of Opioid and Heroin Addiction

The Wooster Area Interfaith Partnership invites you to an interfaith candle light vigil, “Beyond Brokenness,” on Friday, April 14 at 5:30pm at the Gazebo in Downtown Wooster. As people of faith, we feel that it is urgent that we become more aware of the extent of opioid and heroin addiction in our community and in the United States. As reported in the March 12th Daily Record, according to statistics from the Ohio Department of Health, the number of Ohioans who died from unintentional drug poisoning has risen sharply by 642% from 2000 to 2015, with most of the deaths opioid-related.  Regarding the power of the vigil, the Rev. Andries Coetzee of Westminster Presbyterian Church stated,

"As a community of faith we feel strongly that no one should, or even can, overcome addiction alone. It is not enough to treat overdoses as they happen; more should be done to stem the deadly tide."

The event will feature keynote speaker Nonya Stalnakera, Coalition Prevention Specialist for OneEighty. She will discuss breaking the stigma and talking openly about addiction and recovery.

Nonya has been in recovery since 2010 and is a member of a 12 step fellowship. A long time Wooster resident, she has worked for OneEighty for the past two years in the Community Health and Wellness Department. As a Senior Coalition Specialist, she works with community groups to prevent substance use among youth in Wayne County. 

This service coincides with the Christian season of Holy Week, specifically the day called Good Friday.  For many Christians, this day is a sacred time of restoration and reconciliation with humanity and the whole of creation.  For this reason, faith leaders of churches feel moved to take a public stand to raise awareness of the growing problem of substance abuse and addiction in our community, help connect people with resources, and open our doors, as well as hearts and minds, to people who need the support of a community of faith. Participating churches include the following:

  • Salvation Army
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wayne County
  • Wooster United Methodist Church
  • Central Christian Church
  • Trinity United Church of Christ
  • Wooster Friends,
  • First and Westminster Presbyterian Churches
  • Office of Interfaith Campus Ministries at The College of Wooster
  • OneEighty

After the service, you are invited to join for a free cup of coffee or hot chocolate sponsored by Westminster Presbyterian Church at The Gathering Grounds Coffee House, 131 N Market St., Wooster to find support and continue the conversation.

According to event organizer, Rev. Andries Coetzee, although the service takes its inspiration from the Christian tradition, this event is open to all who is concerned about the issue of drug abuse, including families, community leaders, educators, youth, parents, grandparents, school personnel, neighbors, and faith-based organizations.

When: 5:30 pm, Friday, April 14, 2017

Where: The Gazebo, Downtown Wooster, OH

Contact Andries Coetzee here for more information.




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