The HFC Connection
A Newsletter of The Holy Friendship Collaborative
June 2019

The mission of the Holy Friendship Collaborative is to inspire the Church in our region to follow the Biblical mandate to meet people in distress wherever they are and extend to them Christ’s redeeming love. This can be seen in our efforts to mobilize the Christian community to address addiction.
Holy Friendship Collaborative
Featured at Tennessee’s First Faith-Based Opioid Summit

Dozens of faith-based and community leaders gathered in Franklin,TN for the first Faith-Based Opioid Summit on June 20th. 

The State's Office of Minority Health and Disparities Elimination hosted the event with more than 200 people from different faiths across the State of Tennessee in attendance. The event was packed with small group conversations, testimonials, and panel discussions. The goal was to address the opioid crisis from a faith-based perspective. 

"People are more willing to go to their pastor for a number of things before they will go to a family member or any other person. Having those champions on the ground in the community, having that collective impact is going to make the change," said Office of Minority Health and Disparities Elimination Director, Monique Anthony. 

Teronya Holmes, Regional Project Facilitator of the Holy Friendship Collaborative, served as a panelist and small group discussion facilitator. 
Executive Director, Dr. Andi Clements Represented The HFC Before Federal Funding Organizations

The HFC Executive Director, Dr. Andi Clements, represented the HFC at a mandatory meeting for all of the organizations that received HRSA planning grants during the third week of June in Rockville, MD. Linda Austin, HFC Board Secretary, also attended representing ASAC, with whom the HFC partners frequently.

Dr. Clements was able to present about the work we are doing to educate, strengthen, and mobilize people in the faith community in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. One thing she learned is that we seem to be the only organization that is solely focused on mobilizing people of the Christian faith by specifically trying to strengthen and motivate churches to address addiction. As a follow up, Andi has been asked to teach a National webinar for the Department of Health and Human Services Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives.

The Holy Friendship Collaborative can help churches and organizations find and/or organize trainings in Trauma Informed Care, Mental Health First Aid, Naloxone Administration, and other church leadership initiatives. To schedule a training, email the HFC at
for assistance.
National Trauma Informed Expert Presentation:
Pastor Sanghoon Yoo

The Holy Friendship Collaborative was pleased to welcome Pastor Sanghoon Yoo in a rare opportunity to hear from a national expert about the mobilization of the faith community to address substance use and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on June 23rd, at  Christ-Reconciled Church  in Johnson City.

Pastor Yoo and the organization he founded,  The Faithful City , are working with the Arizona Governor’s Office and the Arizona ACEs consortium on a “huge substance use coalition project." He has been instrumental in helping people all over Arizona learn about the impact past traumatic experiences can have on later mental health and substance use. Our own executive director, Dr. Andi Clements, and board member, Becky Haas, spoke at the Resilient Church Conference hosted by Pastor Yoo this past February.

Pastor Yoo says that “God will use the Church in this movement, because it bears the message of the Gospel - unconditional love.” He says that, as we know, the opposite of addiction is relationship and human connection, and salvation in Christ is just that - recovery and restoration of our relationship with God. Pastor Yoo stressed the importance of understanding that “we have all experienced trauma and/or sin in our lives...It is how we respond to and treat it that is most important. We must come to understand and realize that we have power and authority over our trauma and sin…and Jesus is the best trauma informed care teacher.”

“No matter what your training, there are many things [Christians] can do, such as offering training in Trauma Informed Care, ACEs, resilience, and Mental Health First Aid, serving in ministries such as Bible study, transportation, child care, and more. As we go deeper into the depths of God’s grace and redemption, we realize that Jesus creates a safe place. He gets rid of the Accuser, and blocks all the accusations,” said Pastor Yoo, “Taking up my cross is difficult. Confront the trauma. Do not avoid it. Many stumble because of trauma and are unable or unwilling to take up the cross. Unresolved trauma can pop up. They don’t know what to do with it. We stumble. How we handle adversity is important.”

If you would like to listen to his talk,  click here .
The Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Dimensions of Addiction : Symposium to be Held for Area Physicians and Others Interested in Addressing Addiction on September 18 th

The Holy Friendship Collaborative will hold a daylong symposium at Bristol Regional Medical Center on September 18, 2019 for area physicians and others who are interested in addressing addiction. Internationally known speakers will present on the medicalization of addiction treatment, the importance of hope, wisely responding to pain, the theological bases for faith community involvement in addressing addiction, and how the faith community can support clinical efforts in addiction.


Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences Summit
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Celebration Church
29 Shipley Ferry Rd.
Blountville, TN 37617
Hosted by: Ballad Health
Registration link:



The Psychological, Social, and Spiritual Dimensions of Addiction
An Academic Symposium
Bristol, TN
Hosted by: Holy Friendship Collaborative
More details coming soon!

Official Kickoff Gathering of 1st HFC Cohort
CoWork Bristol
1227 Volunteer Parkway
Bristol, TN
Hosted by: Holy Friendship Collaborative

Adoration 2019
East Tennessee State University Mini Dome
Free and open to the public, Adoration 2019 is a day in the Fall when different church congregations, pastors, community leaders, outreach organizations, college students, families, and thousands of citizens come together for a common purpose: to celebrate the Lordship of Jesus Christ through prayer and worship and to collaborate on how to restore Appalachia from drug abuse. Be the Official Representative for your church by registering here:


The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue. According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
If you missed this year's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 27th, it is NEVER TOO LATE to turn in and safely dispose of your unused prescription drugs in order to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.
Go to this website to find out WHERE you can easily and conveniently dispose of your unused prescription drugs:
The Holy Friendship Collaborative
For inquiries, email