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A Loving Embrace:

Team Ministries Break Cycle of Addiction

by Constance Bovier

 
The author with the covers of her two books.
Constance Bovier is a writer, spiritual director, speaker, teacher, and retreat leader. An active member of Bay Harbour United Methodist Church in League City, Texas, Connie participates in spiritual formation events at the conference level and within the broader faith community.
Image by: GBGM Administration

When I entered Twelve Step Recovery in 1981 to deal with my personal addiction, I was relieved to learn that I could develop a relationship with a forgiving God without a requirement to be involved in church. My spiritual journey eventually did lead me to church, and there my growing conviction that Christianity and recovery complement each other led me to write two books of encouragement, More God: From the Twelve Steps Into Deeper Faith, and From the Crucible: When Recovery and Religion Merge.

Today I am honored to serve as a member of the United Methodist leadership team for the Faith Partners Alcohol and Drug Team Ministry. This powerful initiative, proven in more than 150 churches across the US, has been endorsed throughout The United Methodist Church as a way of bringing hope and healing to help break the cycle of addiction.

The Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV), a United Methodist initiative that resides within Global Ministries, is partnering with the Rush Center to build support for team ministries in all five US jurisdictions during 2007-2008.

Training for clergy, team leaders, and team members helps people in congregations and communities prevent addiction, intervene early, and support recovery. Faith Partners team members may include church staff members, medical personnel, mental-health and addiction specialists, youth and childrens ministry workers, family members, recovering men and women - anyone who recognizes that substance abuse affects every segment of our society.

Constance Bovier tells the story of her journey from Twelve Step spirituality to Christianity in a well-received memoir, More God: From the Twelve Steps Into Deeper Faith (available at Cokesbury.com).
In her second book, From the Crucible: When Recovery and Religion Merge, Constance Bovier chronicles the faith stories of 20 other Christians in Twelve Step Recovery programs. Excerpt:

I kept the two keys side by side on my key ring intentionally. Their proximity gave me daily reminders of the doors that had opened for me, first into Twelve Step Recovery, then into Christianity - doors closely related but decidedly distinct, through which I had stepped directly into the loving embrace of God ...

A Faith Partners team is now forming at my church, Bay Harbour United Methodist Church in League City, southeast of Houston. As part of this team, I look forward to continuing my personal ministry of building bridges of acceptance, support, and understanding between the church and the recovery community.

Upcoming dates and locations of training for clergy and religious leaders:

Northeast Jurisdiction, TBA
Southeast Jurisdiction, March 19-20, 2007 at Dilworth United Methodist Church,
South Central Jurisdiction, POSTPONED

Upcoming dates and locations of trainings for church teams:

Northeast Jurisdiction in Chatham, NJ
Congregational Team Leaders: POSTPONED
Congregational Team: September POSTPONED

South Central Jurisdiction in Little Rock, AR
Congregational Team Leaders: May 14, 2007
Congregational Team: October 19-20, 2007

Southeast Jurisdiction in Charlotte, NC
Congregational Team Leaders: May 17, 2007
Congregational Team: September 21-22, 2007

To register for or learn more about any of the upcoming trainings, please contact SPSARV at SPSARV@gbgm-umc.org or call 212-870-3699. The SPSARV website offers stories and resources for the recovery program:  http://new.gbgm-umc.org/about/us/cim/programs/spsarv/.


 
See Also...
Topic: Advocacy Christian love GBGM programs Health United Methodist Church
Geographic Region: United States
Source: GBGM Mission News
 
 

arrow icon. View Listing of Missionaries Currently Working in: United States   

Date posted: Feb 13, 2007