The Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (CASA) was established in response to the 1979 General Convention Resolution of the Episcopal Church.
The Committee serves as an advisory group to the Bishop of the Diocese, and as a resource to congregations throughout the Diocese. The members are appointed by the Bishop to serve three year terms.
The Committee meets five times a year at various churches in the Diocese. Members of the Committee are available to serve as guest speakers for congregations on Alcohol Awareness Sunday and for other Alcohol/Drug Awareness events in the Diocese. At least one diocesan-wide event is held each year in the form of a guest speaker seminar, or a recovery-oriented weekend retreat.
The Committee, which is made up of lay and clergy, is a grassroots group that is the local representative body of the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church.
We are a resource for the Diocese to support and promote spiritual, emotional, and physical wellness to those who are recovering from the disease of addiction to alcohol and other substances or behaviors. We are available for individuals, parishes and clergy for consultation, presentations, and education. We are members of the National organization of Recovery Ministries for the Episcopal Church and many of us attend the National Gathering held once a year in a different city. Our committee consists of individuals that are committed to volunteering their time and are in recovery or whose lives have been impacted by family or friends that use or are professional counselors in the field of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. We welcome anyone with interest in helping us further education and prevention. Our focus is to engage younger people on this committee with the goal of educating parents of young children. Parents are the best and most valuable influence for a drug-free future for their children.
Problems with alcohol/drugs exist whenever any sphere of a person’s life functioning is impaired. Examples include: problems with family, friends, profession, economic status, job security. Asking four simple questions can provide validation for the existence of a problem. These four questions are:
* Have you ever felt the need to cut down on drinking / drug use?
* Have you ever felt annoyed by criticism of your drinking / drug use?
* Have you ever had guilty feelings about drinking / drug use?
* Have you ever taken a morning eye-opener?
(i.e., Is the use of alcohol / drug required in order for you to function?)
Answering “Yes” to 3 or 4 of these questions is a clear indication of a problem.
Answering “Yes” to 2 of these questions may require further assessment.
Answering “Yes” to the use of an “eye-opener” always indicates a problem since recreational drug/alcohol use does not require “eye-openers”.
Remember: normal drinkers don’t EVER have to try to control their drinking;
they don’t EVER have to go on the wagon;
they don’t EVER have to drink only beer or wine;
and they can CONSISTENTLY PREDICT how much they will drink, where they will drink, when they will drink and HOW IT WILL AFFECT THEM.
from The Functional Alcoholic by Janee Parnegg
A word about Anonymity: Each member of the committee will respect your right to remain anonymous, unless you express otherwise.
What the Committee on Alcohol and Substance Abuse Provides
- We encourage congregations to engage us when planning their annual ADAS (Alcohol/Drug Awareness Sunday).
- We provide sermons, speakers for adult, teen and children’s classes.
- We are also prepared to offer forums for adult education.
- We will travel to any parish in the diocese and will provide pamphlets, books, posters and a guide for Alcohol Awareness Sunday.
- We offer help to those suffering from the disease of addiction and those who love them to connect with resources and support to find lasting recovery.
- We offer a 12 Step Eucharist on the first Saturday of every month at Leffler House on the campus of St. Mark’s Cathedral at 6:00 PM. It is followed by a pot luck supper and an open 12 step meeting and fellowship.
- We offer an annual retreat for those in recovery at St. Andrew’s House on Hood Canal.
- We encourage Parishes to enlist one person in their parish to be on the Committee for Alcohol and Substance Abuse, to disseminate information about publications, programs, retreats, etc.
- We encourage every parish to become a member of Recovery Ministries and follow the guidelines set forth by the 1979 General Convention resolution on alcohol.
Ruth Adams, Chairperson
We continue to strive for increased membership on our committee and preferably those under the age of 35. However anyone who shares our passion for health, wellness and recovery with willingness to work is welcome on our committee.