The following is an article written for our parish newsletter designed to heighten recovery during September, National Recovery Month. May it encourage you to see your own faith community as a vital part of your recovery.
Hello, my name is Shane and I am a grateful person in recovery.
In January 2016 I walked into Saint Peter’s after a very dark four years. I was broken, discouraged, fearful, and attempting to rebuild my life after the choices I made in addiction had paid off in destructive ways. Coming from an evangelical background, I did not know what to expect when I shared my story with Teri, the previous Rector. I remember crying over my choices and her listening and taking it all in. After she heard all the gory details, she looked me in the eye and told me something I will never forget.
“You are welcome here Shane.” She said.
Now, over three years later I can not imagine my life without Saint Peter’s. I have discovered that my church life is a key component to my recovery and being at Saint Peter’s empowers me to walk out my recovery in the context of a loving, caring, and Christlike community. In my time here I have had the privilege of meeting other people in our congregation who are recovering as well. Some from alcoholism, others from drugs, and still others from the pain of being co-dependent or having a loved one who is an addict. While the impact of addiction is a common experience we share, it is the belief that this family of choice helps us recover which really connects us.
If you are struggling with any type of addiction and you come to Saint Peter’s, you are in the right place. I invite you to begin your own recovery story by reaching out to someone – a friend, a staff member – and take the first step back toward sanity. It begins with asking for help. Visit the website for the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church, and read about the resources available to you. Contact one of the 12 Step Meetings help in our area, a few of which actually meet at Saint Peter’s! There is hope available, all you must do is reach out for it.
September is National Recovery Month. If you have been impacted by addiction in someway, will you join me during this month in three activities?
First, let us pray. The Book of Common Prayer has a wonderful prayer for those who are struggling with addiction. It is a great way to turn spiritual energy toward a difficult challenge that affects hurting people.
Secondly, if you know someone who is struggling with alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, gambling, or any other compulsive behavior, would you love them enough to express your care and concern? We never know how our willingness to be honest can sync up with God’s timing and be the catalyst that jump starts someone’s recovery
Finally, will you join me in making sure that Saint Peter’s continues to be a place where hurting people can be made whole? Isn’t that the promise of the gospel? When you meet someone in our congregation who is struggling, will you continue to be open and available to them? Can we join together and love the struggling as Jesus loves us, extend our arms and say, “You are welcome here.”?
Thank you for the incarnational love that permeates this place. It is changing lives.