January 3, 2020
To: all Ascension employees and clergy, whether full-time or part-time, with or without an employment contract, whether W2 or 1099.
From: The Very Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector
Re: Recreational drugs and alcohol and the church
Already I have been asked if Church of the Ascension has or will have a policy with regard to the Illinois marijuana statute that went into effect January 1. A general communication, I realize, may be of interest and value to some or all.
Bishop Lee or his staff may issue some guidance about this matter in the coming months. If so, I will share it when it becomes available. Meanwhile, with regard to Ascension and marijuana or any other recreational drugs, and as with alcohol, sobriety is the expected standard for all work, ministry and fellowship here.
Until such time as the Bishop gives direction or the Vestry develops and approves a related policy, the Wardens and I will respond on a case-by-case basis to any substance abuse and/or disregard of this sobriety standard. (I'll be pleased if we have no cases ...)
Some social functions at Ascension include alcohol, and moderation is always the expected norm. In the event that it's necessary to add: these occasions are not now invitations to light up.
My personal views about recreational marijuana use are probably more conservative than some and more liberal than others at Ascension. I'd like to believe that we can find common ground in abstaining from alcohol abuse and/or recreational drug use in anticipation of and while taking part here at the church, in whatever event or whatever our role in it.
I welcome your related thoughts or questions,
The Very Rev. Patrick Raymond, Rector