The GMS Task Force on Opioid and Substance Use Disorders (OSUD), created by a Synod resolution in 2019, seeks to help congregations respond to substance misuse, addiction, and other mental health crises. Often, while congregations are aware of and concerned about these challenges, they don’t know where to begin to develop effective ministry in response. Our Task Force had joined with Faith Partners. who has established a national presence resulting in over 1000 trained congregational teams in 29 states from 23 different faith traditions. These team members have ministered to thousands of individuals and families by offering tools and supports to make healthier choices and effectively meet people in their brokenness. Faith Partners is helping to initiate and train congregations in the Greater Milwaukee and to connect them with one another for mutual support. In addition, the Task Force is a coalition member of The Alliance for Wisconsin Youth.
Through a generous grant from the Siebert Lutheran Foundation, our Task Force has been able to hire an Area Coordinator – Cheryl Bledsoe – who will greatly enhance and support congregations as they develop strategies of hope and healing.
Welcome Cheryl Bledsoe
Cheryl Bledsoe is the Faith Partners Area Coordinator for the Greater Milwaukee Synod Task Force on Opioid and Substance Use Disorders (OSUD).
“Cheryl is assisting the Task Force in outreach to congregations and the wider community, and in the development of congregational ministries which can respond, effectively, to the opioid and substance use disorder crisis. We are excited and thankful for her leadership, skills and training – and especially her faith – in this important work!”
Rev. Molly Doreza, Chair for the GMS Task Force on Opioid and Substance Use Disorders
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
I have served as a K-12 Principal and Administrator for the past 20 years with a focus on community engagement, diversity, restorative practices, and a trauma sensitive culture while building and sustaining family and community partnerships. I am a community leader and advocate for clean water and green spaces. Equally important, I am an active member of my church Parklawn Assembly of God for the past 24 years where I lead and support our finance team volunteers. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Community Education and Engagement from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and will complete my Masters degree in Cultural Foundations in Community Engagement and Education in 2022 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I live in Milwaukee and enjoy writing, American Sign Language, interior design, roller skating and riding my bike.
Learn more about the work of the Task Force
Read the adopted guidelines…
to understand how the Greater Milwaukee Synod will respond to evidence of addiction and/or substance abuse of either a rostered Minister of Word and Sacrament or a rostered Minister of Word and Service. The guidelines are available here: https://milwaukeesynod.org/substance-abuse/