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Alcoholics in the Church: What One Church Is Doing

When needs surface in a congregation it sometimes takes creative programs to meet them.

If real wine were ever used for the Lord's table, it could cause as many as two hundred alcoholics to crash!" These disturbing words were uttered to me recently by a recovered alcoholic in our church. Though perhaps an exaggeration, they came as a solemn reminder that the church is not immune to worldly maladies. My friend's statement also made it clear that the specter of alcoholism is not something that raises its ugly head for a few embarrassing hours and then slips away into the darkness, never to return. Alcoholism is a permanent condition. Recovered alcoholics never refer to themselves as former alcoholics. They might cease to be drunkards, but they will be alcoholics for life.

As a pastor, I know the feelings of frustration and helplessness that surround the counselor who attempts to assist the chemical-dependent person toward sobriety. Counseling the alcoholic is a time-consuming and often discouraging project.

On rare occasions I have witnessed a remarkable transformation of an ...

May/June
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