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Annalie Korengel wasn’t just having a bad week. She was having a horrific one. Five funerals in seven days can push any pastor to the brink of physical and spiritual exhaustion. But for the pastor of Unionville Presbyterian Church in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, standing almost daily at the gravesides of young people who had overdosed on opioids pushed her into an indescribable hell.
Lee McDermott is concerned. Opioid addiction is rapidly sweeping out of control in his neighborhood. And while the Presbyterian pastor in a rural southwestern Pennsylvania community is not only worried for those who are struggling with these habits, he’s also troubled by the fact that many religious leaders refuse to face the problem. And many congregants don’t want to talk about it. As a result, families end up living in fear and shame.