Recovery Sunday: Feb. 18, 2024
by the Rev. Deacon Loretta Go,
Missioner for Episcopal Recovery Ministries
January 30, 2024
In 2006, the 167th Convention of the Diocese of Missouri designated the first Sunday in Lent as Recovery Sunday. This year, Recovery Sunday falls on February 18, 2024, and Episcopal Recovery Ministries (ERM) invites congregations throughout our Diocese to support those suffering from or affected by addiction.
Pew Research statistics indicate more than 46% of U.S. adults say they have a family member or close friend who is addicted to drugs or has been in the past. Alcohol use disorder is the most common substance addiction in the country and is linked to 232 million missed workdays annually.
Addiction can also lead to overdose, and tragically often results in death. In 2022, the opioid-involved mortality rate for St. Louis County was 31.9 deaths per 100,000 population. Fentanyl was present in 62% of all drug-involved deaths and 94% of opioid-involved deaths in 2022.
With proper resources and treatment, many people manage addiction and recover from substance use disorders as well as other behavioral addictions. One of the strongest resources available to aid in the road to recovery is prayer. ERM suggests the following prayers which may be inserted into the Prayers of the People on February 18:
O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.
From the Book of Common Prayer (page 831)
God of the present moment, God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart; bring hope and courage to us (N) as we (she/he/they) are filled with uncertainty. Bring hope that you will make us (her/him/them) equal to whatever lies ahead. Bring us (her/him/them) courage to endure what cannot be avoided, for your will is health, wholeness, and freedom from addiction. You are God, and we need you. Amen.
Adapted from A New Zealand Prayer Book
We pray, 0 God of Hope, for all families whose lives have been disrupted by alcohol, drugs, and addictions. Enable them to identify the illness. Give them the strength to search for help. Increase their trust in you, bless them with the power of your transforming love. Grant that as they walk with their loved one this difficult path, they may be bound together by confidence in your love and guidance. Amen.
For additional resources and information, please visit Episcopal Recovery Ministries at https://www.ermdiocesemo.org/