LI-CAN: Effective Action for Social Transformation

LI-CAN: Effective Action for Social Transformation

Episcopal Ministries has been participating in the LI-CAN initiative focused on ending the opioid epidemic for the past two years.

Long Island Congregations Associations and Neighborhoods (LI-CAN) is an organization made up of churches and congregations of various faiths and denominations on Long Island making common cause on issues that affect the fabric of our society. LI-CAN is not an issue organization focused on one particular cause, but a rather power organization—an organization that uses relationships and people to drive positive change to make our communities of faith and the towns and villages in which they live healthier, safer and more organized for action.

The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island and many of its churches are long-time supporters having participated in campaigns to expand access to affordable housing, sober homes, transportation for home health aides, and now, ending the opioid epidemic.

For the last two years LI-CAN has been focused on ending the opioid epidemic on Long Island. In that work it is driving change in prevention and treatment, and is helping to redefine recovery in our region. LI-CAN has held over 1,200 listening sessions, trained over 100 doctors in evidence-based practice, trained over 500 educators in strategies that work to prevent opioid use disorder (OUD), and has advanced changes in the treatment industry to embrace the most effective practices supporting opioid users to move towards lasting recovery.

By speaking and acting on this pressing issue we are also building compassion for some of the most stigmatized in our communities, increasing hope that an end to this epidemic is possible and redefining what it means to be the Church in these divisive times.

LI-CAN is a powerful ally to help congregations become more aware of the issues in our communities and organize to improve them. LI-CAN offers training in listening, leadership development, power analysis and effective action for social transformation. LI-CAN is open to expanding its membership and the issues on which it is working in 2019. For more information, contact the Rev. Gideon L. K. Pollach, LI-CAN’s co-chair and rector of St. John’s Church in Cold Spring Harbor at gideon@stjcsh.org or visit LI-CAN.org and www.stjcsh.org.

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