Dick B. discusses the needs of Christian recovery meetings on the June 6, 2013, episode of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show
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You May Hear This Important Radio Show Right Now
You may hear Dick B. discuss the needs of Christian recovery meetings on the June 6, 2013, episode of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show here:
Episodes of the “Christian Recovery Radio with Dick B.” show are archived at:
An Excellent Series of Suggestions for Focus in Very Dynamic California Meetings
The Growing and Diverse Needs of the New Christian Recovery Fellowship Meetings
As many know, starting in May of 2009, we began sifting the concerns of many long-sober AAs, NAs, treatment leaders, counselors, clergy, recovery pastors, physicians, sober living facilitators, and other Christian leaders in the recovery arena. At that point, at the large meeting in Irvine, California, leaders from many areas of the United States and elsewhere were concerned about the open rebuke given in A.A. meetings to those who mentioned God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, or the Bible. And there was a resultant hunger for the real facts about how frequently all of these topics were the subject of meetings, studies, and discussions in early A.A. Therefore, when the International Christian Recovery Coalition was formed two months later in 2009, lots of time was spent for a couple of years disseminating information on the role that God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Bible played in early A.A.
Thousands of our books, articles, radio and audio talks, blogs, and forums focused on these aspects of Alcoholics Anonymous History.
Those aspects were: (1) The Christian origins of Alcoholics Anonymous in the recovery work of many Christian organizations and people from 1850 forward. These included the Young Men’s Christian Association, rescue missions, Congregationalists, Salvation Army, Evangelists like Dwight Moody and Ira Sankey, Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, and later to some extent among Oxford Group enthusiasts. (2) The virtually ignored but very clear Christian upbringing in Vermont of Dr. Bob, Bill Wilson, and Vermont “summer people” like Ebby Thacher, Rowland Hazard, Shep Cornell, and Cebra Graves—also the entire families of Bill Wilson, his parents, his grandparents, and those of Robert H. Smith (Dr. Bob). (3) Next came the simplicity of the first three AA recoveries—abstinence, turning to God, helping others—simply and successfully applied by Bill W., Dr. Bob, and AA Number Three Bill D. (4) Very remarkable was the similarity of their surrenders to the effective activities of groups like the Salvation Army, the rescue missions, and the evangelists. (5) Finally, the actual 7 point Christian Fellowship A.A. program of A.A. founded in Akron in 1935 and the sixteen practices utilized by the members thereof became the original old school Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship program of recovery—the true beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous History.. See Dick B. and Ken B., Stick with the Winners! http://mcaf.ee/s50mq.
Did the hunger of the affected and the afflicted for more information about what A.A. was like when it was planted on solid biblical gound grow? Certainly yes. To the extent that the International Christian Recovery Coalition has grown and grown and grown to every state and many countries just since July of 2009. See also http://www.ChristianRecovoryCoalition.com and http://www.ChristianRecoveryRadio.com.
My son Ken and I began traveling to and speaking at groups and meetings where we were welcome, invited, funded as to expenses, and received for the facts we brought to light. Areas of great receptivity were The Wilson House in East Dorset Vermont; The Dr. Bob Core Library in St. Johnsbury, Vermont; the Seiberling Gate Lodge in Akron; the archivist at Dr. Bob’s Home in Akron; the Snyder (Came to Believe) Retreats in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, California, and elsewhere; the families of Dr. Bob and Anne Smith and the families of Henrietta Seiberling and T. Henry Williams. There were strong “come and see” meetings in many parts of California—Oroville, Chico, Auburn, Livermore, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Los Gatos, Escondido, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Palm Springs, Betty Ford Center, San Juan Capistrano, Irvine, Glendora, North Hollywood, Carlsbad, and San Diego. And now, in New England, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, Georgia South Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Alaska, and Missouri. More on the way.
Different Strokes for Different Folks Became Important
But it soon became clear that there needed to be “different strokes” for “different folks.” Some rapidly bought books, studied, discussed, and held meetings about A.A.’s origins, histories, founders, Christian upbringing, founding, and original program. They formed study groups, James Clubs, Christian recovery fellowships, A.A. history and Bible study meetings, NA history and Bible study meetings, sober living programs, Christian track treatment programs, Christian counseling facilities.
And Now for the September Talks about Applying A.A. History Today
Now we go to The First International Alcoholics Anonymous History Conference in September, 2013 and at Portland, Maine. A large number of participants and subjects will be involved. We also will be stopping over in the South San Francisco Bay Area. And, of course, the interests of those who are new and of those who have grown in outreach and understanding are very different in May of 2013 than they were before we begin in May of 2009. And in September, we plan to meet those interests both in Maine and in Central California before we return to Maui.
However, the following wake-up call came today from two Christian Fellowship groups in a large church in the San Francisco Bay Area. And we intend to start attending to their needs as well, and those of others who have grown in understanding, support, and outreach. Here is the correspondence.
Today’s Letter to Me About What preliminarily seemed to interest the mature California group
“Your story, you giving your personal testimony and recovery journey on Monday September 16th at 7:00 at a Turning Point meeting.
As for discussion topic meetings, focus on implementation, given the history of AA with its early high success rates, its current state with much lower success rates, what action steps can Christians in recovery take to make a difference in the future of AA or other recovery groups?
What can we do to Biblically “salt” our language in meetings to attract members while promoting the principle of unity?
Some thoughts of my own:
When I was a kid in the fifties and sixties there were relatively few magazines, LOOK, LIFE, Post, MAD, Hot Rod, Playboy, etc.
Now we have magazines for every possible niche interest area, Road Bikes, BMX Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Street Motorcycles, Dirt Motorcycles, V Twin Motorcycles, Sport Motorcycles, Adventure Motorcycles, Antique Motorcycles, etc.
Likewise in AA we have open meetings, closed meetings, men’s meetings, women’s meetings, candlelight meetings, atheist meetings, agnostic meetings, Gay and Lesbian meetings, Spanish Meetings, Professional’s Meetings, Hospital meetings, Cruise Ship meetings, Step Studies, Big Book Studies, Breakfast Meetings, Singles Meeting, Beach Meetings, Speaker Meetings, Topic Meetings, even a meeting in the Senate Cafeteria, and 12 step meetings for all kinds of addictions and compulsions, etc.
So it is not surprising–given the contemporary specialization happening elsewhere–that Christian AA Meetings evolved as well.
What implementation steps can we take to make Christian AA meetings attractive to Christians and seekers in recovery alike?
What implementation steps can we take within traditional AA meetings that may attract members to Biblically focused meetings?
We can share what has worked and not worked for us over the last eight years.”
Your Comments, Suggestions, Questions, and Plans Are Welcome
Contact Dick B. firstname.lastname@example.org; 808 874 4876; PO Box 837, Kihei, HI 96753-0837
And if you’d like to join our “Agape Circle” and send regular, modest, reasonable gifts each month to help meet expenses, your help will be much appreciated. Several individuals and fellowships have helped make our outreach more certain and effective by regularly contributing monthly donations of $50.00 as members of our “Agape Circle.”—the love circle.