SPSARV Podcast Highlights How A Small Congregation
Built Thriving Recovery Ministries in Southern California
The United Methodist Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV) released a new podcast for the "Speak About It!" series on Grace Place Recovery Ministries, a ministry of a downtown church located in the heart of a southern California beach community that transformed itself to become a place of healing and wholeness for hundreds of people in recovery.
The "Speak About It" podcast series, produced by SPSARV and the General Board of Global Ministries, profiles inspiring people who work in substance abuse ministries across the United Methodist connection.
The latest podcast interviews the Rev. Julie Elkins, senior pastor of First United Methodist Church of Costa Mesa, and Brenda Spencer, a board member for the church's Grace Place Recovery Ministries, about how an urban community church in Costa Mesa, California, with a dwindling congregation reached out beyond its doors to create more than 25 recovery groups.
The diverse city of Costa Mesa had been experiencing rapid changes, and the congregation explored mission opportunities around this downtown beach community and discovered that the largest area of mission would be serving people in recovery and in search for spiritual awakening.
"We are a small congregation, but we just felt that God was calling us to reach out to people in recovery, and it really is felt by the community--the recovery community--by the amount of 12-Step people who have come through and [said] we feel that this is a sacred space that my higher power is calling me to. We know God is working," said Rev. Elkins of the recovery ministry, which serves 850 people on a weekly basis. Grace Place Ministries received a grant from SPSARV to expand their ministries.
The ministry also created the Serenity Garden for people in recovery to sit, meditate, listen, and heal. In addition to the garden, the ministry will soon offer resources to people in recovery.
Grace Place Recovery Ministries plans to host its first recovery service, "The Grace Place Experience," on January 22, 2012, at First United Methodist Church of Costa Mesa. "The worship service will be a place to celebrate wholeness and recovery and be a place of grace and experiencing God's love using the language of the 12-Step program," explained Rev. Elkins.
Date posted: Jan 11, 2012