In January I got a visit from Allen Moreland and his sister Christy Moreland Allen’s son Travis had died of an overdose and Allen wanted to have the funeral here at the church. Rev. Benny Brakeall would preach. Of course, we were happy to help Travis’ family in any way we could so the funeral was held at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in Short Gap. It was the second funeral for an overdose in 5 months at our church, the first being Missy White, whose parents Bob and Eileen White attend Wesley Chapel.
Little did we know then, that the Lord has plans for Wesley Chapel to do more than hold funerals for overdose victims. Meetings commenced with the Morelands setting up the Travis Phillip Moreland Foundation, and no fewer than 6 meetings have been held at Wesley Chapel in the last 6 months. In June, the Moreland family asked me if Wesley Chapel would be willing to allow them to get a recovery center started. It would require us to open our church for “office hours” for the recovery center – three hours a day, three days a week. It would require us to allow Narcotics Anonymous to meet weekly at the church. The foundation has bigger plans than being in our church. They will be working through the Potomac Highlands Guild to acquire grant money to rent a large place that they can run full time, offering many more services. Our church will just be used to get the recovery center off the ground.
I presented this to the administrative board in August. After some discussion, the board voted unanimously to allow the Travis Phillip Moreland Foundation to use the church for the recovery center and Narcotics Anonymous. We told them we would give them 9 months and then see where everything stands.
Our church board was well aware that it may cause some questions and perhaps even some uneasiness in the community. I have my own concerns. I will be the one who is here after hours if anyone comes needing help. It is in my front yard. Will anyone come knocking on my door at 2 a.m.?
I had a talk this evening with the Wednesday night dinner crowd. We had nearly 70 people for dinner and I told them that the NA meetings will be Wednesdays at 7, hoping that the people who come to the NA meetings will join us for dinner at 5:30 and a sermon/devotion at 6:15. I am sure that some of them are unsure what it could mean to our dinners. I am unsure.
Everyone agrees that there is a drug problem. Nobody is immune. The people who have lost friends and loved ones, or who worry about losing friends and loved ones to addiction are just like me and you. It could very easily get a hold of someone you or I love. And everyone agrees that something needs to be done about it. But what do we do? The church and Christians are famous for saying we will pray about something. Sometimes we have to do something.
If you have questions or concerns, please call the church at 304-726-7215. Someone will return your call. And please pray.