The HFC Connection
A Newsletter of The Holy Friendship Collaborative
September 2019
WHO WE ARE: The Holy Friendship Collaborative is a non-profit organization which inspires the Church in the Appalachian Highlands (Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia) to follow the biblical mandate to meet people in distress wherever they are, and extend to them Christ’s redeeming love.

WHAT WE DO: The Holy Friendship Collaborative is inspiring and mobilizing churches to address addiction in our region. Our primary work involves coordinating cohorts of churches to take a “deeper spiritual dive” to faithfully understand WHY addressing addiction is a biblical mandate for churches. We work with churches individually and collaboratively to facilitate a process for better discerning biblically-inspired ways to minister to those suffering from addiction in our region.

The Holy Friendship Collaborative just completed its inaugural “Kickoff Gathering” this weekend for our first ever “Congregational Cohort”! Thank you so much to all who came and participated!

We would like to offer our gratitude and appreciation to our partners from Duke Divinity School’s Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative, who did a fantastic job of designing and leading us in this training: Dr. Warren Kinghorn, Dr. Brett McCarty, Rachel Meyer, and Dr. Thad Austin.

Also, we offer our undying gratitude to our own Dr. Andrea Clements, HFC Co-Founder and Grant Project Director, for leading the way in bringing us to this point, and for leading participants in Faith-Based Trauma Informed Care Training.

Additionally, we offer a very special thank you to Eric and Anita Fields, owners of CoWork Bristol, for the amazing facility in which we hosted this event!

The participating churches met in this “HFC GATHERING” to receive education, training, and materials to begin facilitating a deeper spiritual dive and discernment process within their churches as they work to address the problem of addiction in their community and throughout our region.

Throughout this process the HFC Congregational Cohort churches will receive:
  • Theological and spiritual education and training from our colleagues at Duke and regional partners.
  • The HFC Conversation Guide, which has been written as a collaboration between the HFC and our partners at Duke Divinity School’s Theology, Medicine, and Culture Initiative, specifically to address addiction in our region and assist churches in facilitating this process in each congregation or congregational community partnership.
  • On-going hands-on facilitation and consulting from the HFC to assist the congregation in discernment, ministry, and resource-gathering.
  • Trainings organized for their church congregation, such as: Trauma Informed Care, Mental Health First Aid, Naloxone Administration, etc...
  • Assistance in building collaborative partnerships and connections with proven and existing resources, and updates and information on relevant events and trainings throughout the community and region.
  • Each HFC Congregational Cohort Church located in Tennessee will also become a Certified Recovery Church Through the State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. This network provides access to an experienced “Lifeliner”, who is trained to provide support and answer questions, as well as a connection to a database of information on addiction treatment and recovery.
  • Participation in collaborative efforts with other churches in the community and region to provide ministry support, and hopefully to discern new ministry ideas to help those struggling with addictions and its effects in our region.

To join us for the NEXT HFC Congregational Cohort Gathering, visit our website at: , or contact Teronya Holmes at


Andi Clements, HFC co-founder and project director and her husband Dale, a pastor from Christ-Reconciled Church in Johnson City, attended the Criminal Justice Reform & Addiction Conference in Nashville on September 18th. Governor Bill Lee spoke to the group emphasizing his goal of helping to decrease incarceration and Increase the health and prosperity of Tennessee residents. Many organizations came together to discuss efforts to help people to be more successful when re-entering society after incarceration. Hopefully churches in our area will be able to initiate or participate in some of those endeavors. The HFC will be happy to assist any churches that are interested.

Farr Curlin, MD, and professor at Duke University School of Medicine, was the featured speaker of the King University “Faith and Culture Medical Lecture” at Bristol Regional Medical Center on Monday, September 16th. Dr. Curlin, medical advisor of the Holy Friendship Collaborative, spoke on the intersection of theology, medicine and culture. He practices hospice and palliative medicine, and studies whether and in what ways physicians' religious commitments ought to shape their clinical practices in a plural democracy. 

The Smyth County Ministerial Alliance re-launched on September 24th with Pastor Training sessions at Smyth County Community Hospital. Teronya Holmes served as guest speaker and spoke about the Holy Friendship Collaborative.

Bristol’s State Street United Methodist Church hosted a series called “Trauma and Resilience: Called to Respond” during the month of September. HFC associated speakers included:
  • Logan Horne, RPRS at Highlands Community Services and HFC board member, gaver her testimony on September 1st.
  • Becky Haas, Trauma Informed Administrator at Ballad Health and HFC board member, presented a sermon on September 8th.
  • Andi Clements, PhD, HFC Co-Founder, taught an overview of trauma informed care and how the church is called to address addiction on September 8th.
  • Brett McCarty, M.Div., ThD., Sept 18th. Dr. McCarty, Theology Consultant for the HFC) is Associate Director of Duke Divinity School’s Theology, Medicine and Culture Initiative, which is an HFC Partner. 


Hands & Feet Golf Tournament
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Marion, VA
Four-person captain's choice; Registration starts at 8 am - entry fee $200 per team (includes 18 holes, cart & lunch); Cash prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd places; $10,000 Hole in One! Other prizes: closest to the pin, longest drive & additional hole in one. $100 hole sponsorship; Team & hole sponsorship $250 (we are a 501c3 non-profit).

ASAC Faith Community Initiative Dinner
6:00 pm
Oakwood, VA
Andi Clements

Johnson City Kiwanis Club
12:00 pm
Teronya Holmes

Johnson City Rotary Club
7:15 am
Teronya Holmes


Mobilizing the Church to Address Addiction
Andi Clements, Co-Founder of the HFC
The Opioid Crisis: Causes, Evolution, and Responses Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture
University of Virginia

Faith & Recovery Conference
Trevecca Nazarene University
333 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37210
Sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Dr. Andrea Clements to speak on behalf of the Holy Friendship Collaborative.

Faith-Based Trauma Informed Care Training
Grace Fellowship Church
Johnson City, TN
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Dr. Andrea Clements


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