2016 Hearts for Justice conference focuses on “Addiction, Recovery, and Grace”

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on October 12, 2016

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“Addiction, Recovery, and Grace” is the topic of this year’s Hearts for Justice conference on October 22, 2016, at Trinity Church in Menlo Park. Featured speakers are Fr. Thomas C. Weston, SJ and the Rt. Rev. Chilton R. Knudsen.

The free event, which runs from 10:00 to noon, is open to the wider community; advance reservations are encouraged:

“One of our goals in hosting Hearts for Justice each year is focusing on topics that are of interest to the broader community, whether faith-based or not,” said The Rev. Elizabeth Riley, associate rector at Trinity and event organizer. “While our speakers this year do have religious backgrounds, we’ll gear the conversation to speak to everyone. After the program, there will be a community fair with addiction and recovery resources.”

dsc_0400Fr. Tom Weston (right) has been a leader of retreats and workshops for alcoholics and addicts since 1984. He is a Superior of the Jesuit Community in Oakland, where he is an avid reader and gardener. The former Director of the Jesuit Volunteers Corps and teacher at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, he became known to a wider secular audience through his friendship with author Anne Lamott and his appearances in her books.

img_7711Bishop Knudsen (right) is a nationally-recognized expert in conflict resolution and issues of addiction and recovery.  She is the co-author of  So You Think You Don’t Know One? Addiction and Recovery in Clergy and Congregations and Depending on the Grace of God: A Spiritual Journey through the Twelve Steps. The former Episcopal Bishop of Maine, she now serves as the Assistant Bishop of Maryland.

This is the third year Trinity has hosted Hearts for Justice, which previously looked at human trafficking and  mass incarceration.

“We see this year’s topic as a natural progression from the other two,” said Elizabeth. “Many trafficked women have substance abuse problems as do people who are incarcerated, whether they are serving time because of drugs and alcohol-related offenses or became addicted while in prison.

“Aside from the other programs, addiction is a topic that people in this area don’t talk about very much, but nevertheless affects many, many people. This is an opportunity for education and awareness, to learn how to take care of ourselves and those we love.”

Trinity Church is located at 330 Ravenswood Avenue in Menlo Park.

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