Supporting Recovery Ministry

Supporting Recovery Ministry

by the Rev. Aileen Aidnik, St. Francis', Fair Oaks

St. Francis', Fair Oaks has a 30-year history of supporting recovery ministry, via multiple daily Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and Gamblers Anonymous (GA) meetings that take place on our church campus. This year we stepped up that support by assisting "Jay," an alcoholic who had been marginally connected with St. Francis over the past seven years. Instead of food from the pantry and an occasional free Sunday breakfast, we offered "Jay" something more substantial--a week in detox, and a month in residential treatment. We took him to detox, supported him with prayer and daily check-in phone calls, escorted visits home, took him to a local community college for career screening and provided emotional support. It was a very healing experience for everyone.

Even though "Jay" relapsed, we don't see it as a failure. We gave "Jay" an opportunity to experience sobriety for the first time in many years, and we are hopeful he will choose to enter the 90-day county treatment program. We continue to pray for him weekly in our Prayers of the People, where parishioners know him by name and ask about him on a regular basis. We hope that he will continue his faith journey with us, and the other AA members who regularly use our facilities.

In addition, we have written, and the vestry has adopted, a new set of guidelines for mission and outreach. Our goals are to build relationships, and to have impact with our donations. To that end, we decided that some of our outreach would be for local community concerns, some for diocesan and national needs and some for international. We also welcome each recipient of our funds to come at least once a year and speak about their work.

 

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