A conference on addictions, Seeking Light in the Darkness, will be held Saturday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Room of the Congregational Church at 55 Elm St.

This event will take a broad view of modern addiction that includes a spectrum from those habits that are easy to overlook to those considered life threatening and dangerous. There are food issues with sugar, excessive eating or anorexia; screen and electronic device dependency; gambling; adrenaline infused risk-taking with extreme sports; and the most commonly discussed: alcohol, tobacco or nicotine, and the vast array of legal and illegal substances in the world.

The conference leader will be Darryl Coonan, a priest of the Christian Community in Boston. This topic is a confluence of all his careers. He began his professional life as a general and psychiatric nurse, later becoming a Gestalt Therapist. He holds a masters of Counseling, and Advanced Diploma of Gestalt Therapy and a graduate diploma of Addiction Studies. For many years, he specialized in the field of addiction treatment. Coonan brings an international perspective to this discussion: he is Australian, but has lived in Europe and in the United States.

There will be a discussion of the underlying causes of addiction, the ongoing psychological processes that support it, and the damage this behavior causes in human life. When looked at in the context of so many types of addictive behavior, there is a discovery that any habit behavior that is not held in check can become dangerous. Then follows the attendant question: what or who is holding a mundane behavior in check, so that it doesn’t take over a person’s life as an addiction? The focus of this workshop will be on the higher potential for all human beings to transform themselves. There are tools for doing this, as well as for helping each other along this ever-changing path through life.

The suggested donation for the workshop will be $65 and will include lunch and two coffee/tea breaks. Please email your registration information (name, phone) to sojunge@aol.com by Saturday, May 17. For more information, email sojunge@aol.com or call 236-0505.

On Sunday morning, Coonan will offer The Act of Consecration of Man (a communion service — one sacrament of the Christian Community — to which all are welcome) at 10:30 a.m. at another location.

The Christian Community is an international movement for religious renewal, with more information available on the website for North America: thechristiancommunity.org. Please call the above number for directions if you interested in attending.