The Recovery Ministries Committee of the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire invites you to set aside Sunday, April 30th, 2017 (Easter 3) as Recovery Sunday in our diocese. Anyone whose life has been affected by addiction, either their own, or the addiction of someone close to them, knows how deeply the disease touches us. Whether the addiction centers on alcohol or drugs or gambling or whatever, the effect is not just a physical malady, but a mental and spiritual one as well. Dr. Gerald May, in Addiction and Grace: Love and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions, writes, "To be alive is to be addicted, and to be alive and addicted is to stand in need of grace."
We are seeking to provide this opportunity for worship and education in our churches and congregations about addiction and recovery from substance addiction. We look to this day to pray for others and ourselves as we uncover our own need for God's grace in the face of the attachments that pull us away from relationship with God and each other. Since addiction is such a deeply spiritual disease, and recovery from addiction a blessed reprieve from spiritual and physical death, what better place than at the celebration of the Eucharist for us to express our hope for those we love and for ourselves, placing the resurrected Christ at the very center of our lives?
Recovery Sunday is a wonderful opportunity for us to reach outside of our own congregations and inviting others to come and see. April is Alcohol Awareness month. More than 30 of our Episcopal Church of New Hampshire parishes host recovery groups. God is doing great things in our basement meeting and common rooms! Post an invitation in the building; place a note in your local paper letting folks know about the service.
We also have a list of people in and around the recovery community that would be willing to speak at forums or coffee hours. Please contact the Rev. Susan Ackley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sandi Albom (email@example.com) if your parish would be interested in hosting.
On the Diocesan website you will find materials to support your planning for Recovery Sunday, including:
- Recovery Sunday Liturgy
- Sermon prompts for Easter 3A
- Hymn suggestions
- Recovery bibliography
Please note that participation in Recovery Sunday is optional. Bishop Hirschfeld has approved the use of non-fermented grape juice for this service and at other services with a focus on recovery. In addition, readings and information regarding addiction and recovery can also be found on The Episcopal Church of New Hampshire website. Contact information is available on the webpage. We hope you find these materials helpful.