BANGOR---In a unified effort to raise awareness about the opioid crisis impacting many Maine communities, faith and civic leaders will gather for the second annual interfaith opioid healing service at St. John Catholic Church, located on 217 York Street in Bangor, on Thursday, May 16. People of all faiths are encouraged to attend. Hundreds of people packed St. John Catholic Church for the first interfaith opioid healing service in 2018.
The healing service will begin at 6 p.m., preceded by information sessions at 5 p.m.
The information sessions will be led by Patty Hamilton, the director of Bangor Public Health & Community Services, and Dr. Noah Nesin, the chief medical officer of Penobscot County Health Care. In addition, Joe Locke of Bangor Public Health will offer a NARCAN administration training session. NARCAN (Naloxone) is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose.
The healing service will feature leaders from different faiths, including representatives from St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Bangor, All Souls Congregational Church in Bangor, Congregation Beth El in Bangor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bangor, the Imago Dei Anglican Church in Bangor, the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Bangor, and the Islamic Center of Maine.
Many community leaders and elected officials will also participate. Gordon Smith, the director of opioid response for Governor Janet Mills and executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association, will be among those in attendance. The healing service will include prayers for anyone affected by substance use disorder, the loved ones lost, and for the recovery of those suffering. It will also include special music performances and a reception will follow the service in the parish hall.
For more information about the healing service and information sessions, contact St. Paul the Apostle Parish at (207) 217-6740. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, call 2-1-1 or visit www.211maine.org.