Linda Hyder Ferry, MD, MPH, was the featured speaker for this year’s Recovery Ministry weekend. Ferry is a Seventh-day Adventist pioneer in the field of smoking cessation and the primary consultant for the booklet, “Tobacco: You Can Be Free,” which was released by Pacific Press in June.
Participants listened eagerly as Ferry explained the nature of addictions and recovery from a biblical perspective. Ferry focuses on creating Christ-centered recovery within congregations so that members can then reach out to family, friends, and community.
A panel of smoking cessation leaders answered these questions from the audience:
—How can we educate our church family to be accepting and nurturing instead of critical and judgmental?
—Should baptism be contingent on stopping smoking?
—How can we take the information we learned this weekend back to our local churches and make practical applications?
—What role do medications play in a smoking cessation program?
Comments heard from participants were: “I could have listened to Dr. Ferry another whole day.” “We need to update our resources and develop a program using the new scientific information together with the biblical perspective that we have.” “Our church needs to step out again and become a leader.”