From the Director’s Desk – July 2014

The expansion of recovery ministries in the Christian community in the last couple of decades has been dramatic. Thousands of churches now have or are developing ministries to families who struggle with addictions, abuse and/or trauma. Unfortunately, there has not been a correspondingly rapid development of training and leadership development programs to serve the leadership of these ministries.

There are very few places that a person can go to learn best-practices for recovery ministry, to get help in exploring the biblical and theological foundations of recovery ministry or to develop competencies for working with people in the recovery process. The unfortunate result is frustrated leaders, ministries lacking substantive biblical and theological foundations and teams who struggle with unclear and/or poorly designed strategic plans. We aim to change that. You are invited to attend:

NACR Summer Institute of Recovery Ministry (First annual)

Dates: July 20-24, 2015

Location: Pasadena, CA

We are arranging for a weeklong intensive training opportunity targeted for: pastors and staff interested or involved in recovery ministry, practitioners connected with the local church, sponsors, house managers, recovery coaches and the therapeutic community that intersects with recovery ministries in the local church.

This will include both academic and practical workshops. Participants will be introduced to faculty and staff with experience and cutting edge knowledge of this rapidly changing field.

Much, much more information will follow, but we know you’re planning your budget and continuing education options for 2015, so we wanted to get on your radar. The cost will be about $500 for the week. Local lodging options will be reasonably priced. Participants will receive a certificate of completion. If you’re interested in combining academic rigor with practical application and skill set development, you are definitely going to want to pencil this on your calendar and wait for the nitty gritty details…soon to be released!

We’d also love to receive feedback about your specific needs. You can contact us via our Facebook page and let us know who you’d love to learn from and what practical skill sets you’d like to develop.

For further information, call me (804-651-8768 EST).

Blessings, Teresa

From the Executive Director – April 2014

We had a wonderful packed house at our annual Recovery and Spirituality Retreat at Laity Lodge. Ashley Cleveland, Dr. David Augsburger and artists Robert and Claudia Fuerge led us beautifully in song, instruction and artistic expression. The challenges that the material presented and the intense discussion during our break times will continue to offer me opportunities to reconsider my own way of thinking, feeling, and doing in the world – and that can only be a good thing!

Travis Reed (Work of the People) captured some amazing video, and it’ll be available to you soon. In 2013, Travis did a series of videos from our first retreat as well. Matt Russell and Kelly Hall have taken on the work of creating compilations of materials on each subject. Our first collaborative venture on “Surrender” is a beautiful work – and available now through our store and Amazon. Included in the book is a curriculum guide written by Kim Engelmann, a fantastic author, pastor and friend. It’s not only artistic and thought provoking – it is another resource that you can use at church, in recovery meetings, with a small group – anywhere you are finding ways to wrestle with what it means to surrender ourselves to the care and control of God.

Have I mentioned that we also opened our office in Richmond, VA in 2013? If you join us for our workshop on the 11th step (Thursday night May 15th – Saturday afternoon May 17th) that’s where we’ll be meeting. Come prepared to practice the 11th step and experience a time of personal reflection. I’m looking forward to seeing you!

In the meantime, keep the faith, Teresa

From the Exec Director: March 2014

I love my work. When Phillip Seymour Hoffmann overdosed, I had a bad day. That startled me; after all, I don’t know the guy or his family. I have long appreciated his gifts and talents as an actor, but I didn’t KNOW P. S. Hoffmann. I did, however, know Kevin. He died the Thursday before Hoffmann – cause yet to be determined, but we fear the worst. He didn’t make the news. I only heard of his passing via Facebook posts blaring R.I.P.

Hoffman and Kevin represent a long list of names I have tattooed on my heart.

Next to their physical loss – gone from this world of hugs and coffee meet-ups, parenting snafus and productivity – I hate what I hear others say about these tragic deaths. Bloggers and pundits expound on drug addiction and alcoholism. Blaming and moralizing, hopelessness and judgments flavor many of the conversations. And as bad as that is – nothing gets my goat more than the ignorance.

There’s just so much we don’t know about the treatment of addiction – but it shocks me how many don’t even understand what we do know in 2014. Research? Ignored or unread. Experience, strength and hope? Dismissed or distrusted. Community support for the addicted and their loved ones? Not enough to go around, and much of what is available is accessed in crisis but not committed to as a lifestyle.

Personally, I have a couple of choices. I can curl up in the fetal position, eat more peanut butter than I have bread to spread it on, or….sit. In recent years, the practice of prayer has become both more difficult and meaningful for me. I’ve mostly set aside my narcissistic cries for God to do what I want, and instead, give myself in surrender to listening for his Spirit. Frustrated and compassion-fatigued after a week of loss, I continued to take my daily time to sit, surrender, and wait upon the Lord.

After a couple days, I rose up from my extended sit and found my joy. I was able to recall not just the Kevins of my community, but the Craigs and Joannes, the Jens and Bruces, the Barbs and Jays, the Lindas, Dougs, Debs and my friends at NACR – people who keep putting one foot in front of the other, moving toward the possibility of transformational recovery. These precious people are good reasons to get up and go to work.

Speaking of work – our mission at the NACR is to keep finding ways to get resources into your hands, so that you can continue your ministries with fresh resources, more information, maybe even new mentors and coaches to help you as you serve others. Check them out! Buy them! Use them! Let us know how they’re working for you!

Finally, I don’t say this often enough: can you support our cause financially? These materials don’t appear like burning bushes! Every family needs a viable, sustainable, and effective recovery ministry within driving distance – help us help you make that happen. Thank you.

Blessings, Teresa

From the Exec. Director – Dec 2013

Generosity is such a beautiful gift from God. As a result of the gift of giving – specifically to the NACR – we have some opportunities coming to fruition that I cannot wait for you to discover. Sometimes my husband and I send ten or twenty, fifty or a hundred bucks to an organization like the NACR. I cannot speak for Pete, but I always wish I could give more. Or, sometimes I think, “Why bother?” My giving always seems so small in comparison to the need.

It’s at this point in this newsletter where I could put on my preacher’s hat and talk about the value Jesus placed on the widow’s two small coins, but you know the story, right? I’ll save you the sermonette. But what I cannot help but share is how our collective nickels, dimes and quarters are being used to fulfill the mission of this organization. Here’s what YOU, the giver, have helped accomplish at the NACR this year.

A second annual recovery and spirituality retreat in partnership with Laity Lodge. For most folks, this will require an airline ticket and registration fees, using precious vacation days and making arrangements for others to take on their weekend ministry and family responsibilities to get away and experience refreshment. Thank you for providing funds to help scholarship our leaders who have the will, but not the financial way to get here without you. (See newsletter for details and don’t forget to register!)

Four new publications going to press even as I type:

  • Curriculum to accompany the nine awesome recovery and spirituality videos captured and produced by Travis Reed from Work of the People at last year’s recovery and spirituality retreat at Laity Lodge. (Additionally, nine booklets of art, poetry, music and essays on each of the nine videos is in the works.)
  • A new Christ-centered 12 step workbook, ideal for churches interested in providing materials and build support groups that are distinctly Christian and honoring of the 12 step process.
  • TWO new works from Kim Engelmann, in collaboration with me. Kim has created a wonderful workbook that we believe enhances small group experiences for those interested in reading her latest book, “No More Running in Circles.” For those who enjoyed her book “Running In Circles”, I hope you’ll appreciate this new expanded version of her story and our collective perspective on the model of the 12 steps. In this new book, “No More Running in Circles,” we talk through our experiences with transformation that have helped us recover our lives. Her frank, honest recounting of her own past trauma makes this a must read for people interested in building a beautiful life out of the ashes of despair.

Look for our releases of all these materials in early 2014. You will find them here at Or, come to the retreat at Laity Lodge – we’ll have them available there too!

Thank you for helping us help others, through your donations, your participation and your commitment to serving your local community.


From the Executive Director – July 2013


It’s hard to get away, isn’t it? We talk about taking a sabbatical, signing up for a retreat and attending workshops. But family, finances, work and ministry responsibilities interfere with our good intentions. At NACR, we get it; we know you’re out there and that you’re eager to improve your serve.

We are working hard to bring resources to your doorstep. Remember when we hosted a retreat at Laity Lodge last February? We had a packed house, but that left thousands of you unable to attend! So we went to Laity with you in our hearts; we committed ourselves to figuring out a way to bring part of the experience of this retreat into your community.

A series of videos were captured during that retreat and they are now available here. There are two formats: one short version – great for sermon clips and a second longer version – we imagine you using them in small groups, classes and even for personal use. The nine topics that are the focus of each video can help us help others. In particular, they discuss spiritual practices that can enrich our eleventh step experience. Notice how beautifully spiritual disciplines and the twelve steps meet up at the eleventh step! Isn’t that cool?

If you find these enriching, imagine how useful these films are going to be paired with our soon-to-be-released curriculum on the same subjects. When you want to enrich your community’s experience with spiritual practices and/or the eleventh step – remember that resources are available using either the short or long videos and we anticipate releasing curriculum suitable for small study group experiences within your community soon.


Interested in taking a break, getting away, and regrouping? Need a meeting with fellow recovery ministers, pastors, treatment professionals and support group leaders? Join us for breathe…Friday, October 11th and Saturday, October 12th, 2013 at Grace Fellowship church in Timonium, MD. (Want more details? Ready to register? Need a scholarship to help with your expenses? Contact us and/or register here

Addiction: the Church’s Role in Recovery

Please take note of this training opportunity scheduled for August 3 in Memphis, TN! The topic of this free, half-day workshop is: Addiction: the Church’s Role in Recovery

The workshop is sponsored by the Recovery Commission of the Diocese of West Tennessee. The featured presenter will be The Rev. Dr. Stuart Hoke. Rev. Hoke is an adjunct professor at General Seminary in New York City. He has pioneered a tremendously successful course of study on the Church’s role in the treatment of alcoholism and addictive illness. Over the past 6 years Stuart has shared his expertise and energy with more than 350 students at the seminary and beginning this year, will be adapting that course for an audience in dioceses and parishes across the country.

Organizer: Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church
Date: Saturday, August 3, 2013
Time: 9:00am to 12:30pm
Place: Grace St. Luke’s Church, 1720 Peabody, Memphis, TN (Trezevant Hall)
Who: All people interested in the work of recovery
Complimentary lunch provided by the Diocesan Recovery Commission

If you would like to attend, please call, email or text Shannon Tucker at 901-281-0785.