Panel: Holy Friendship - A Biblical Response to Pain and Addiction

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Several studies have argued that congregations are better at bonding internally rather than bridging social capital. The critique suggests that most congregations tend to internally orient relationship building activities within the confines of their membership to the detriment of promoting activities that increase social capital through expanding the connections within communities, regions, and common causes. While this critique ignores the substantial collaborative work done to promote issues such as racial equality and right to life, it is often the case that congregations prefer a “go it alone approach” or defer to parachurch organizations when addressing pressing social issues such as addiction, behavioral health, and homelessness. Collaborative efforts involving multiple congregations do occur but they are relatively rare and often occur within churches of the same denomination. Even more rare is collaboration between multiple congregations and community not for profits (e.g., United Way agencies), municipal departments (e.g., police, public housing) and both public and private universities.


Durham, NC

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