In 2006, I was serving as pastor of Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Sacramento when I first wrote the words, “Hello. My name is, Robyn, and I am an addict.” I proceeded to describe my addiction to consumerism (for lack of a better word) and my longing for recovery. This struggle was complicated by my sense that it was actually my whole society that was addicted and the whole earth community that was suffering from the economic and ecological consequences.
I wrote, “Some suggest that our particular society not only supports addictions but also demands them in order that we might tolerate the distortion of life and the cycle of violence which consumerism exacts upon our souls. Addictions, in their many forms, numb us from that deep personal and relational pain. I fear that my role within the church has become more a mirror of consumerism than a witness to the life-giving alternative that a crucified and risen Christ makes possible.” But where does one go to recover from a systemic addiction to an unsustainable way of life?
When the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous first came together desperate to find recovery from addiction, the “12 Steps” of spiritual recovery had not yet been invented. All they had was each other and the growing awareness that when they came out of isolation into relational communities of active recovery: they got better. In this way, many people began to find spiritual healing and more sustainable ways of life.
Since the founding of EcoFaith Recovery with a grant from Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries in 2009, over 400 lay and ordained faith community leaders from Oregon have been coming more fully out of the denial or despair that so often accompanies our disconnection from each other and the rest of creation. We have come together in Care for Creation training sessions, Ecology of Grace and Justice classes, Table Talks, workshops, retreats, worship services, Internships, and ongoing small groups sponsored or co-sponsored by EcoFaith Recovery. It is true that we have not yet discerned the steps out of (or through) the ecological and economic mess our way of life has created, but with God’s guidance, we are deepening our relationships, taking action, and getting better.
With this post, we are effectively re-launching our Blog which is now integrated with Facebook (thanks to the efforts of Paul Navarre and this year’s capacity building grant from Lutheran Community Foundation). If any of what you read here speaks to your own deep need, please join us.
With gratitude and hope,
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