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  • Writer's pictureLynda

"Fellowship, Friendship, Faith"

How did Sparks of Hope start? That's a question we get a lot. Believe it or not, it all started because of a chicken barbecue. Seriously. Were it not for a flyer tucked in with a chicken dinner, Sparks might not exist.

In 2017, as the opioid epidemic raged in WNY, the faith community started having conversations about how we as Christians could help. Everyone agreed the needs are great, resources limited, and the stigma surrounding addiction deeply rooted. People were dying at a tremendous rate, leaving holes in families and the community.

Early in June 2017, a local organization called Colton's Journey to Liberation held a chicken barbecue to raise awareness about addiction. Every dinner carried away took Colton's story with it. Reading the story of Colton meant learning of his addiction, years of torment, and eventual death. The pain of his loss and the family's journey to healing was a powerful call to action for a small group of congregants at Hamburg United Methodist Church. A plan was formed, people sprang into action, and lives started to change.

The Sparks of Hope ministry set a course of action that included:

1. forming a faith coalition of clergy and lay people from local churches for the purpose of educating, informing on the topic of addiction and recovery, as well as assisting individuals within congregations seeking relief from addiction;

2. establishing a recovery support center for people in recovery from addiction and/or families of individuals actively using or in recovery who need a safe and sober space;

3. fostering support opportunities through 12 step programs and various discussion groups by providing meeting space;

4. encouraging long-term recovery through volunteer opportunities and educational opportunities which will empower and strengthen recoverees.

Take a look at our calendar. there is something for everyone. And if you don't see something that you'd like to see? Let us know. Join us, and lend us a hand.

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