CNDP October 2016 Newsletter #1
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Justice and Reconciliation

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In this issue, we bring you two faith perspectives on the War on Drugs. On the Holy Holiday of Yom Kippur, James Kowalsky describes how his Jewish upbringing and values have led him to harm reduction in response drug abuse and addiction. As a Catholic priest, Fr. David Kelly, executive director of Precious Blood Ministries on Chicago’s South Side, works with at-risk youth and mothers of the incarcerated. He is a leader in the growing restorative justice movement.

Rev. Alexander E. Sharp, 
Executive Director, Clergy for a New Drug Policy
How Judaism Led Me to Harm Reduction

I'm an American Jew. I'm descended from Jews who immigrated to the United States from Europe in the early 1900s. Growing up, I attended a Hebrew day school, became a bar mitzvah, celebrated the High Holy Days and Hanukkah, went to a Jewish summer camp, kept kosher (at times) and ate a fair share of kugel, gefilte fish, and bagels with lox and shmear. But my Jewish experience has been about more than traditions, holidays, and matzo ball soup. Judaism instilled in me a passionate commitment to social justice which manifested in my role as an advocate for harm reduction.

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War on Drugs: A Catholic Perspective
Tabletop painting by youth participating in restorative justice peace circle; their stipends are gifted to victims and organizations embracing restorative justice. 
Catholic social teaching is built upon the conviction that every human person bears the image of God ... Every human person has the right to be provided with the necessary resources to live with dignity, in unity and equality with all people. Responding then to addictions with treatment enables a person to live fully as a member of God’s family. 
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Upcoming Events
On October 20, Rev. Al Sharp will be leading a forum, "The War on Drugs: Health not Punishment," at St. Mark's Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona (click for flyer). The event will provide an opportunity to consider the major draft policy statement of Presbyterian Church U.S.A on drug policy, which is being tested in conversations with congregations throughout over the next 18 months.  The forum will also include a discussion of Proposition 205, the ballot initiative on whether to implement taxing and regulation of marijuana in Arizona.
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Copyright © 2016 Clergy for a New Drug Policy, All rights reserved.
Clergy for a New Drug Policy 111 W. Jackson Blvd Chicago, IL 60604

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