Pastor’s Office Tool Kit

A Pastor’s Office Tool Kit to Serve the Afflicted and Affected

The Reverend Anne Andert, Lutheran pastor who had also served as a parish nurse before she was ordained, and former pastor at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Benson MN, shared these thoughts about items used in her ministry to individuals and families afflicted and affected by addiction. She keeps each item in quantity readily available in her office.

Recovery Bibles by the case

The Life Recovery Bible, with both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, has many features addressing recovery: 12 step devotionals; serenity prayer devotionals; and recovery profiles, notes, reflections, and themes.  In quantity (a case is only 14 Bibles) these Bibles are about half the price. This Bible is a good resource for individual alcoholics or addicts or family members who may want to use it themselves or give one to a family member in recovery.

Care Notes

These notes are available from Abbey Press, Samples:”Loving Someone with a Drinking or Drug Problem,” “In Sickness or in Health: When a Spouse is Ill,” “Getting Help with An Addiction,” “Feeling Trapped by Obsessive or Compulsive Habits.” Keep these small booklets available also on display racks around the church.  The Teen Notes related to drinking and using drugs have also proved very popular.  Teenagers can help themselves to titles that apply to their needs, or use them to give to a friend who is struggling.

Printed Prayers

Favorite prayers that acknowledge and name the overwhelming feelings, frustration, hope for healing, etc. These prayers are printed on small pieces of paper and can be used as bookmarks or pocket prayers. The Serenity Prayer is a good one to have available.

God Grant Me the Serenity to Accept the Things I Cannot Change, the Courage to Change the Things I Can and the Wisdom to Know the Difference.

Signs and Symbols of Awareness

A rock or plaque with the serenity prayer on it. A couple of visible AA slogans such as One Day at a Time or Let Go, Let God, something to let the visitor know you are aware of recovery language. Perhaps a sign in the building that announces the AlAnon meeting and it’s purpose. Also Alcoholics Anonymous literature.

List of Resources

Brochures or names of community intervention and treatment resources with phone numbers for both adults and adolescents. Meeting schedules for Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, AlAnon and Naranon. Contact information on a member who is willing to take someone to their first meeting.

Prayer Shawl

After listening to a fifth step of a person in recovery a prayer shawl around their shoulders for a closing prayer and blessing can be meaningful. Some congregations make these shawls available to people as a token of the congregation’s love and concern for them.

Another meaningful prayer to have printed and available – Thomas Merton

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road

though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.                         – Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”

Recently, Reverend Andert left her position with Our Redeemer Lutheran church and she acknowledged that her pastoral care and ministry to and with persons affected by addiction and in recovery has been some of the most meaningful work she has done, “Saying goodbye to the alcoholics I have worked with has been the most difficult of my goodbyes so far. I have heard numerous stories from those I have helped directly, and those families where I have provided counsel and resources. Such wonderful people!”

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