Addiction Awareness - Transfiguration Lutheran Church - Bloomington, Minnesota

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Addiction Awareness

We offer help and hope for the addicted and their loved ones.

Alcoholism or drug dependency is a primary disease that is chronic, progressive, and potentially fatal if not treated.

It creates immense physical, psychological, and spiritual problems for the individual and for their families.

All family members are affected by the disease—not just the person who is addicted. Everyone experiences emotional pain, yet each person feels alone, unable to reach out for help.

“Healing places for individuals and families touched by addiction are successful when congregations learn facts, avoid judgments, practice love and apply firm supports.” —The Rush Center of the Johnson Institute

The mission of  the TLC Addiction Awareness ministry team is to provide resources for the purpose of prevention and treatment of addictive behavior and substance abuse. All are welcome.

Resource List
All website links verified as of September 2018

General Resources  

First Call 211
Phone 211
First Call is a free, confidential, information and referral service that can get you the answers you need FAST!
First Call/211 always has a person on the phone (not a recording) waiting to speak with you right now.

Mental Health Minnesota
(800) 862-1799
CRISIS HELP? Input your zip or county to be quickly referred to help in your area.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(800) 273-8255    Includes OnLine CHAT
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and  confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis  resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for  professionals.

Walk-in Counseling Center
2421 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis 55404
Our mission is to provide free, easily accessible mental health counseling to people with urgent needs and few service options.

Alcohol & Other Drug Resources

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Greater Minneapolis Intergroup
(952) 922-0880  Phones answered 24 hours/day.
Provides dates, times, and places for AA meetings in the area for those who have a desire to stop drinking or using.

Narcotics Anonymous Minnesota Regions
(877) 767-7676  24 hr Helpline
NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs  had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly  to help each other stay clean

Al-Anon and Alateen Information Services
Al‑Anon has but one purpose: to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.

Hazelden Treatment Center
Primary care, extended care, outpatient services, and youth facilities for treatment.

Fairview Behavior Health Services
(855) 324-2843  24/7
We offer a variety of mental health services, including treatment for substance abuse and gambling addiction.
We offer programs for individuals, couples and families at a variety  of locations. Some services are hospital-based and others are  conveniently located in our clinics. In addition, Fairview Counseling  Services provides outpatient psychotherapy to children, adolescents,  adults and seniors in several locations throughout the Twin Cities and  surrounding areas.             

The Retreat at Wayzata
866.928.3434  Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm (CST)
If  you’re hungry for recovery, we will provide a dignified setting and  surround you with people living recovery at the highest level; you’re  going to get what you need. Everywhere you look you’re surrounded by  people who believe in you and believe you have what it takes to  recover.

MN Adult & Teen Challenge
740 E. 24th Street - Minneapolis, MN 55404
Since 1983, Mn Adult & Teen Challenge has been restoring hope to people struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.
In addition to our effective and affordable residential Licensed  Treatment, faith-based Long-Term Recovery and convenient Outpatient  program, we have extensive prevention and transitional/aftercare  services.

Eating Disorders Resources

Park NIcollet - Melrose Center
Your recovery comes first at Melrose Center. We support you in body,  mind and spirit. That’s why we offer a variety of treatment options for  eating disorders for men, women and children. With 30 years of  experience, we’re here to help you heal your eating disorder and get  back to a healthier you.

Overeaters Anonymous - Unity Intergroup
Overeaters Anonymous (OA) is a fellowship of men and women who, through  shared experience, strength, and hope, are recovering from compulsive  eating in all its forms: anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, purging,  overexercising, restricting and overeating. We welcome everyone who  wants to stop eating compulsively.

Gambling Resources

Minnesota Gamblers Anonymous
Call our 24-hour help line:  855-222-5542
If gambling is a growing and continuing concern in  your life, then you may be a compulsive gambler. GA offers 20 questions  to help you decide.

Sexual Behavior Resource  

A 12-step anonymous recovery program for people whose lives have been affected by compulsive sexual behaviors;  provides meeting and program information.

Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)
(800) 477-8191 Useful "Find a Meeting" tool
As a fellowship of recovering addicts, Sex Addicts Anonymous offers a message of hope to anyone who suffers from sex addiction.
Through long and painful experience, we came to realize that we were  powerless over our sexual thoughts and behaviors and that our  preoccupation with sex was causing progressively severe adverse  consequences for us, our families, and our friends. Despite many failed  promises to ourselves and attempts to change, we discovered that we were  unable to stop acting out sexually by ourselves.

Debt Resources  

Debtors Anonymous Minnesota Intergroup
If you are having problems with money or debt, we can help. We are a  free, Twelve Steps-based fellowship with one purpose: to help people  struggling with compulsive debting, compulsive spending, and/or under  earning. We invite you to attend a meeting or event to learn more.

Meets Mondays at 12:30 in the TLC Chapel.
All are welcome.  

Meets Mondays at 12:30 in the TLC Chapel.
All are welcome.  
Recovery Ministry at Transfiguration Lutheran Church (2001-2018)
Beginnings: In 2001, TLC’s parish nurse, Sue Ann Glusenkamp, initiated the formation of a relationship with Faith Partners. Faith Partners is a non-profit organization that helps congregations support those who struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol.
With training provided by Faith Partners, a TLC team was formed.  Early members of TLC’s Faith Partners Team included Ron Schultz, Gail Kleven, Al Dungan, Connie Anderson, Marian Congdon and Denise Durban. At that time, the issue of addiction and how it affected individuals and families, was not very well understood. TLC utilized a congregational survey to gauge member awareness. Because of the survey results, TLC became much more open to how the disease of addiction affected people and how to become more welcoming to those struggling with this deadly disease.

Pastor Vern and Faith Partners: The TLC team worked in conjunction with the pastor at the time, Vern Christopherson. Pastor Vern relied on the Faith Partners Team as a resource and place of referral for those who were struggling with addiction. This was a successful relationship that helped a good number of people find recovery. The Faith Partners Team also introduced TLC’s annual Addiction Awareness Sunday. One of the highpoints over the years was a dramatization produced by TLC’s resident playwright, Shelley Smith, which shared stories of addiction and recovery from people in our own pews.

When Pastor Vern left, TLC’s commitment of ministering to people in recovery took another step forward. The congregation called Pastor Ed Treat as senior pastor. Pastor Ed at the time of his call to TLC had been in recovery from a drug and alcohol addiction for many years, and clean and sober for over 20 years. Ministry to recovering people was a part of Pastor Ed’s calling since seminary and he brought that commitment and experience with him to TLC.

Pastor Ed and Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy: Since Pastor Ed’s call to TLC, he has continued his commitment to ministering to people in recovery. He has been the Executive Director of a group called the “Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy” (FRLC) for over 20 years. FRLC is an independent volunteer organization that is known and respected throughout the ELCA and is looked upon by bishops as a primary resource for pastors who are struggling with addiction of any kind. FRLC has a weekly call-in 12 Step meeting joined by pastors from all over the country. The FRLC has also historically hosted a week-long spring retreat each year.

After leading this group for 20 years, Pastor Ed shared with FRLC leadership (Board of Directors) two years ago that he believed that there are many more Lutherans than just clergy who could benefit from this fellowship and support in recovery. With the approval of that board, the FRLC retreat of 2017 had a specific focus, to explore in consultation with experts in the field, the viability of a 2018 retreat that would be open to all who have an interest (in place of the annual retreat that had been limited to clergy).

This exploratory retreat resulted in FRLC leadership giving their blessing to a 2018 retreat that would be broader in scope. This 2018 retreat became known as the Addiction and Faith Conference and took place at the Hilton Doubletree in Bloomington September 28-30, 2018.

TLC and the Current Addiction Crisis
We at Transfiguration Lutheran Church are part of a “Kairos” moment. That is, a moment in which the Holy Spirit of God is moving in a very particular and noticeable way. The crisis of addiction in this country has never been worse. The current opioid epidemic is taking record numbers of lives. Internet addiction is rampant. Pornography addictions, food addictions, and gambling addictions ruin the lives and relationships of countless people. Many are looking to the church to help and few are finding much help there. The Addiction and Faith Conference could not have taken place at a more opportune time as its primary focus is to better equip pastors, lay leaders, counselors, and congregations to do this vital work.

When the leadership team of FRLC gave the green light to this project, no one knew how quickly it would grow. We were all surprised. The conference filled to capacity with 200 people in attendance from around the country. In addition to attendees, God brought together an amazing team of conference organizers, all volunteering their time. No one was paid for this project, including Pastor Ed, with the exception of the keynote speakers.

None of this would have been possible without Transfiguration Lutheran Church’s strong commitment to recovery ministry dating back many, many years. This congregation has consistently made choices to open their doors and hearts to all who hurt, all who suffer, all who need healing. It is because of this open heartedness and willingness to be active disciples of Jesus Christ that the first Faith Partners Team was formed all those years ago, that Pastor Ed was called as senior pastor, and that more recently TLC’s Church Council voted on the request of TLC’s Addiction Awareness Team (formerly the Faith Partners Team) to support this conference by sponsoring five scholarships to enable more people to attend and receive training in ministering to addicts of every kind.

What might be the future for Recovery Ministry at TLC?
The FRLC, TLC and the Addiction and Faith Conference: Expanding a new ministry like this conference requires great labor, great faith and great sacrifice, first on the part of the leadership, but also by all those who are in relationship with them. Pertinent questions at this time include: Where does the FRLC and the Addiction and Faith Conference go from here? Will it become an ongoing ministry? Will the expanded conference become an annual event? Is God’s Spirit continuing to call TLC into ministry with people in recovery?  What does this look like for TLC and the current division of pastoral needs and responsibilities?  These questions remain to be answered. What we can be sure of is that God is doing a new thing. It is a needed thing. But is it something that the TLC community is being called to be involved with? And, if so, how?

Next Steps
A leadership team made up of the council president, the strategic planning chair, a member of our mission and outreach team and our three rostered leaders has been meeting and working with an outside consultant since July of this year. This team is called the Pastoral Leadership Team and is integrated into the overall Strategic Plan under the key area of Leadership Development.
The Pastoral Leadership Team began meeting in July of 2018 with a mandate to explore the following questions which were first presented at TLC’s Annual Meeting in January 2018:
  1. How can we ensure that the combined pastoral leadership of TLC best serve the mission of the congregation?
  2. How can the pastors’ responsibilities best be divided in order to make the most effective use of the skills, interests and passions of each?

A specific, urgent question emerged as the Addiction and Faith Conference neared:

    • Given the unexpected and significant blossoming of this new ministry, how might Pastor Ed’s responsibilities as convener of Addiction and Faith and facilitator of the FRLC impact his role as senior pastor at TLC? In which ways are these multiple responsibilities and callings compatible, complementary and/or competing?

At this time, we are asking all TLC members to keep the questions outlined above in your thoughts and prayers. Please pray for the Pastoral Leadership Team as we seek to discern God’s voice and follow God’s will. The team will make recommendations to the Church Council and the congregation. If you are interested in deeper conversation on this topic, please contact one of us. We invite your input, questions and ideas.

With hope and faith in a God who desires healing and wholeness,

The Pastoral Leadership Team
  • John Lindell, Pastoral Leadership Team Chair, member of Mission and Outreach Team,
  • Beth Mercer, Council President,
  • Jeanine Brown, Strategic Planning Chair,
  • Deacon Renee Jefferson, Director of Education,
  • Pastor Ed Treat, Senior Pastor,
  • Pastor Arthur Murray, Associate Pastor,

Outside Resources

Mark Betley, consultant
Synod representative, TBD
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