A Loving Embrace:
Team Ministries Break Cycle of Addiction
by Constance Bovier
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.
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
Upcoming dates and locations of trainings for church teams:
Northeast Jurisdiction in Chatham, NJ
South Central Jurisdiction in Little Rock, AR
Southeast Jurisdiction in Charlotte, NC
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/.
Date posted: Feb 13, 2007