Tuckerton Presbyterian Church Offers Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Aug 01, 2018
The Rev. Anthony Maimone of the First Presbyterian Church of Tuckerton. With youth leader Cindy Sheldon, Maimone has started the Next Gen Youth Group. The church will host Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, free workshops for parents and caregivers impacted by substance abuse in their children of any age.

The Rev. Anthony Maimone is nearing his second anniversary serving as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Tuckerton. In that time, the church has increased its outreach to families, including being a host church for the Ocean County Chapter of Family Promise. Family Promise offers working families on the verge of homelessness a place to stay rent-free while they accumulate money for security deposits. First Presbyterian participates by offering a bedroom for a number of weeks with three nutritious meals a day prepared by parishioners. Other churches help in the meal preparation and in hosting families for a time.

Homelessness is a real national problem, and now the church and the Greater Ministerial Association of Tuckerton are focusing on another problem sweeping the country: opioid addiction and other substance abuse. Those family members and caretakers who may have a child trapped in addiction can attend a series of free workshops at the church through the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids on eight Thursdays beginning Sept. 27 through Nov. 15, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The Workshop for Parents and Caregivers is a peer-led opportunity for parents and caregivers to learn how to change the family dynamic and work toward reducing or eliminating problematic substance use. Delivered by specially trained parent facilitators, the program is designed to help you learn new skills in communication, behavior management and self-care.

Instructor Deborah Nixon from Partnership for Drug-Free Kids will cover 10 topics. Five focus on “Understanding and Preparing for Change,” and five focus on “Implementing Change.”

“We know that families of children who they suspect might be using drugs need support,” said Maimone, “whether the child has experimented or whether it is their third stint through rehab. And it doesn’t matter how old the family member is that has the problem.”

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids was started 30 years ago as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. The television ad of an egg fried in a pan and the slogan “This is your brain on drugs” was its most memorable advertising campaign. Actually, the nonprofit was started by advertising executives who knew how to sell and wanted to “unsell” illicit drug use during the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s. Their public service campaigns used the power of the media to educate the public about the risks of illicit drug use.

Today, they are refocused on stemming the tide of prescription drug, heroin and other opioid abuse through peer-led programs to help the families, such as the one offered at the church, at 201 East Main St. Anyone interested in attending may call Maimone at 732-859-3033. Again, this is a free service to the community sponsored by the Greater Ministerial Association of Tuckerton.

Maimone is also excited about the church’s Next Gen Youth group, which meets the second and fourth Sunday every month at 6 p.m. to watch Christian-based movies and for fellowship, games and crafts. The group is for teens from age 13 up; the youth leader is Cindy Sheldon.

A community dinner is held on the second Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. Additionally, starting Oct. 17, on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. there will be “Dinner Church” for those wishing to have a church service around the church family table.

“This is for families who for one reason or the other can’t make church on Sunday,” said Maimone. “The service is built around dinner, and instead of a homily (sermon), we will do a devotional exercise. For example, we handed out a poem that left out some words that could be filled in by each participant. This was an exercise on reflection.”

Childcare is provided.

— Pat Johnson


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