History

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church passed its first legislative resolution focuding on alcohol abuse in 1979. Guidelines for alcohol use were passed in 1985 and updated and expanded in 2015.

Click on the links below to view significant legislation:

1979 Alcohol Committees

1982 National Coalition

1985 Congregational Education

1985 Alcohol and Drug Use Policy

1988 Support Awareness Sunday

1988 Support Federal Efforts

1991 Priority to Problem of Addiction

1991 Spiritual Care for Addicted

2003 Diocesan Committees

2015 Role of Church in Culture of Abuse

2015 Updated and Expanded Guidelines

The Rev. Sam Shoemaker, the spiritual mentor of Alcoholics Anonymous, had roots in the Diocese of Maryland. His daughter, Sally Shoemaker Robinson, ran Episcopal Social Ministries which included a re-entry program for addicts returning to society from prison. The Diocese formed a committee following the 2003 General Convention action to support addiction prevention, intervention, recovery and support among its members and congregations. That committee became inactive over time.

An alcohol use guideline was developed and updated most recently in 2016 by a new task force created in the wake of the death of Tom Palermo, a cyclist who died on December 27, 2014, after being struck by a car driven by then Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook who had a blood alcohol level of .24 at the time.

This task force created this webpage, expanding addiction resources well beyond those struggling with alcohol. A new Recovery Committee is being formed to continue to offer and update resources, offer awareness and support events, and provide education and referral to clergy.

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