Today’s Mpls Star Tribune reports on a pair of downtown twin cities Methodist churches that have become “The Recovery Church.” It started one Sunday in 1999 when the Rev Jo Campe offered an addiction recovery service at Central Park United Methodist Church in downtown St. Paul, and now recovery has become the spirit of regular Sunday services there and also at a sister church in downtown Minneapolis.
“You look at the socioeconomic diversity — the doctors and the lawyers sitting next to people who are coming in off the street,” Campe says, ” — and you realize that one thing that ties us all together is that we understand brokenness. We’ve all been through major issues in our lives in which, in some way, shape or form, we lost control.”
This blog offers my favorite quotations that randomly appear along the sidebar. One of them is my paraphrase of the first AA twelve steps: I am powerless, and my life is unmanageable, but a power greater than myself can restore me if I only let go. An ELCA pastor and addiction counselor that I know tells the story of his first visit to an AA meeting in which the presence of the Spirit was palpable and powerful. As an occasional public speaker, I have borrowed an idea from the recently popular book (All I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten), by suggesting that all I needed to know about God I learned in AA. I say that as one who has studied theology voraciously, both formally in graduate school and informally. In the trite one-liners of AA lies great wisdom (“One day at a time”, “let go and let God”, “there but for the grace of God go I”, etc.).
So, Rev Campe, keep up the good work. One of these Sundays, I’m going to hop on I-35E and drive up to St. Paul and soak in some of that spirit.