For some time, I’ve felt called to incorporate the principals of Harm Reduction in my pastoral calling at Hope Recovery as a way to inform and further define the work of creating an atmosphere of love, safety and belonging.

I’ve been studying the document SPIRIT OF HARM REDUCTION: A TOOLKIT FOR COMMUNITIES OF FAITH FACING OVERDOSE, published by Faith In Harm Reduction. (Read that here:

This past week during our Thursday night gathering, I shared my ideas about a harm reduction theology that can be activated both towards our own selves, as well as lived out in service to others. Here are the building blocks of that theology (simply meaning: the study of the nature of God. In this case, cast through a lens of harm reduction.)

Our Commitment: We will live our lives from a place of openness for greater self/others acceptance. God, help me to give to myself and others the following:

To Host…

Beloved Community – being dearly loved and holding others dear

Sanctuary – a place of refuge, a place of safety

Gospel – truth as the guiding principle that is accessible to all people

(easily reached, communicated, adapted for understanding) 

To Offer…

Dignity – being worthy, honored, esteemed

Compassion – sympathetic of distress of others with a desire to work to serve them to alleviate it 

Love – devotion, loyalty, concern for the good of another. 

(God’s concern for God’s people, Love for the neighborhood of all humankind.)

To Work Toward…

Transformation – causing a marked change in someone or something

Reconciliation – restoration of friendly relationships

Reciprocity – exchanging of things for mutual benefit 

Liberation – being set free from imprisonment, slavery or oppression

We are all God’s children, cooperating together, nurturing one another and helping each other remember that God always provides a way.

This is only a beginning and I will begin unpacking each one of these elements in the following weeks.

– Meg

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