HARC Meeting – The opioid/addictions epidemic: current challenges and the role of the faith community

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HARC Meeting – The opioid/addictions epidemic: current challenges and the role of the faith community

September 14, 2021 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

In September Washington County “goes purple” to raise awareness of the opioid/addictions epidemic and foster action to support those in crisis and prevent others from this terrible disease.  At our September HARC meeting, we will hear from:

Clarence Horst, Celebration Ministries and Celebrate Recovery

Laura Sheffield-Bishop, Social Work Supervisor, Washington County Health Department & Kelly Marquart, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, Washington County Health Department

This program will focus on how the faith community can support people who are in recovery or struggling with addiction.  We will also hear current Washington County data and learn helpful tips for how to handle the challenges of those in or around our churches who are in the throes of addiction.  Lay leaders are encouraged to attend as well as clergy.  Community members are also welcome.

Following the main meeting, a smaller group discussion will be held to do a deeper dive into challenges our houses of worship are facing and work together to find solutions.  Jeannie Asbury, Executive Director of Reach of Washington County, will join in this discussion with us.

Thanks to Christ’s Reformed Church for hosting this meeting.  Registration is required so we can space the room accordingly.  Masking is also required per current CDC guidelines.  Please note that if registration is higher than expected or CDC guidelines change, this meeting may be moved to an outdoor location.

About our speakers

Clarence Horst is an ordained minister.  He serves as the president of Celebration Ministries and together he and his wife, Kathy Horst, serve as ministry leaders of Celebrate Recovery Hagerstown. Clarence also serves on the Board of Directors for the Hagerstown Rescue Mission, Reach of Washington County, and numerous other community organizations.  Clarence also serves on the Maryland Comptrollers Business Advisory Council and is the owner of Coldwell Banker Innovations and the owner of Hagerstown Builders, a custom home construction company which employs men in recovery.  Learn more

Laura Sheffield, LCSW-C is the Social Work Supervisor for the Washington County Health Department, Division of Behavioral Health Services.   She is co-leader of Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) for Washington County.  ROSC is an initiative that provides an infrastructure for a supportive network of formal and informal services that will help mobilize long term recovery for those impacted by behavioral health. Traditionally, individuals seeking behavioral health services tend to go through the “wrong door” in accessing care and opportunities are missed in providing information, support, and referrals individuals are seeking. ROSC embraces the “No Wrong Door Policy” that we are striving to implement in our community; while, bridging the gap/relationship with those who are a part of the behavioral health system.

Kelly Marquart is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist for the Washington County Health Department and a co-leader of ROSC.  Peer recovery support embraces connections between people who share similar experiences of being diagnosed with a mental health disorder, substance use disorder, or both. This mutuality called “peerness” between the Peer Recovery Specialist and a person in or seeking recovery promotes self-determination, creative strategies for self-empowerment, inspiration, hope, and taking concrete steps toward building a fulfilling life.


HARC meetings are typically held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 12:30 pm, except July and August, with an occasional evening meeting. When meeting in-person, the location typically rotates among different houses of faith, giving each member congregation an opportunity to host.  If in-person meetings are deemed unsafe for our members, they are held on Zoom.


September 14, 2021
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Christ’s Reformed Church
130 W. Franklin St.
Hagerstown, MD 21740 United States
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