The Bridge • A Recovery Church
Our nation is in a crisis. Addiction, especially to opioids, is taking its toll on communities everywhere in our country, including here in the counties of the Western North Carolina. Not only do those addicted to drugs suffer, but so do their families. In Clay County, for example, it’s reported that over 80% of the children removed from their homes leave because of addiction-related issues.
As the Church, we’re called to hear and respond to the cry of those who suffer. The United Methodist churches of Clay County are partnering to do just that when it comes to addiction. We’ve turned to existing communities of recovery such as AA, NA, Celebrate Recovery and Rock Bottom. Through these relationships, a new idea has emerged, a new place of hope, a new church. “The Bridge” is an alternative worshiping community so named because it will be a place of connection, where persons struggling with addiction can cross over to a new life filled with a powerful and healing relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bridge will enable those addicted as well as those whose lives are adversely affected because of others’ addiction to connect with the wisdom and life-changing power of the recovery community in a safe space.
Each Saturday night beginning this October, participants will gather for a time of food and fellowship at the Sweetwater Campus of Hayesville-First UMC on Highway 64 west of Hayesville. Afterward, those who choose to do so will head into the sanctuary for worship, but a kind of worship rarely experienced. Each worship service will highlight the struggles, strength and hope of an addict on the road to recovery who is willing to share his or her journey. Through stories of healing and victory, worshipers will hear how God is changing lives. Praying, singing and rejoicing together, worshipers at The Bridge will grow to live inspiring lives.
Let’s be clear: The Bridge will not be offering a one-stop solution, but instead will trust in the caring, faithful and continuous work of God in all lives. The great hope of The Bridge is to connect persons desiring freedom and healing to the One who can and does break our chains and make us whole.