Precious in my Sight

Sun, Jan 31, 11 am worship service, Eli’jah Carroll preaching

Isaiah 43: 1-4
But now thus says the Lord,
[the one] who created you, O Jacob,
[the one] who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia[a] and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my sight,
and honored, and I love you.

Eli’jah Carroll has been the Director of Faith Formation at Mayflower for three and a half years. He is excited to share his recovery story of experience, strength, and hope that began fourteen and half years ago in Rochester, NY, on June 5, 2006. After finding recovery, Eli’jah received his bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in 2010. He attended Pacific School of Religion, where he received a master’s degree in divinity in 2016. Eli’jah and his two, four-legged children—an 11-year-old orange tabby named Bianca and a three-year-old Boston Terrier named Archie—live in Loring Park where they enjoy walks around the neighborhood. He is grateful every day for the miracle of sobriety.

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Vaping, Mods and other Nicotine Delivery Systems:  A New Generation of Nicotine Addiction

Sun, Jan 31, 9:45 – 10:45 am, Zoom
Contact Lisa DeWaay, ldewaay@gmail.com, to request a Zoom link

Pat McKone is the Senior Director, Health Promotions and Public Policy, at American Lung Association and has worked with lung health programming in Minnesota for over 40 years. Her work includes developing tobacco cessation programs for adults and youth and raising awareness regarding the impact of tobacco in those with mental illness and/or substance use disorders. She has worked as an advocate regarding limiting exposure to secondhand smoke, smoke free housing, point of sale, and e-cigarettes. McKone was the 2017 recipient of the American Lung Association’s Distinguished Professional Service Award and in 2018 was recognized as part of the Blue Cross Trailblazer award.

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“We Are All Recovering from Something”[i]

by Gloria Englund

I would guess all of us have one or two, maybe three things we need to tackle daily to lead our healthiest and happiest lives. Initially this might seem daunting; I see it as hopeful. Hopeful because I believe it is what levels the playing field for us as humans. If we can all acknowledge our imperfections in ourselves and each other, we have made a connection with ourselves and others that knows no boundaries.

Most challenging for me is my recovery from “sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong.” There is nothing wrong with sharing my solution to a problem when it is requested. Many times, especially to those closest to me, I offer my opinion without being asked. When this constant obsession with other people’s lives becomes the center of my life to the detriment of other significant relationships, it is time for me to stop and reassess my level of involvement. For me, this process always begins with self-care. I need to learn to put on my own oxygen mask before I try to help someone else with theirs.

Also high on my list is my need to abstain from sugar. This recovery process has been going on for almost nine years – and I am still recovering! Did you know research proves the same receptors in the brain are engaged when one drinks a sugar-laden soda as when ones uses cocaine?[ii]

Social acceptance of the over-consumption of sugar and alcohol have contributed to two of the most devastating health issues of our time. Despite the enormous rise in drug overdose deaths since the pandemic, the number of deaths due to alcohol use is higher still.[iii] Diabetes (which may be connected to the overconsumption of sugar) ranks as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.[iv]

What about those of us who are striving to end our workaholism? This is often seen as socially acceptable. Changing this behavior demands a commitment that may not be supported by work colleagues; meanwhile our personal relationships may be crumbling. We often need peer or professional support as we move toward working less, to restore a better work/life balance.

I understand that not all of us are recovering from something life threatening. But what about just picking one thing that keeps you from putting your best foot forward? Maybe it is something that daily threatens your peace of mind. Just considering that one thing can be a step in the right direction. All recovery begins with awareness that there is a problem.

Most of the examples above involve finding someone or something to support the change you are seeking. How do I find that connection when my struggle feels lonely and isolating? I am grateful every day that I belong to a church whose overriding message is: All Are Welcome! This phrase levels the playing field for every member of our community.

The Mayflower Addiction Recovery Ministry (MARS) is one of the many places at Mayflower that offers resources and support. Please feel free to contact any member of our team if you need to explore what you might consider “a recovery journey.” Learn more.