The "Speak About It" podcast series profiles people from communities that have received SPSARV grants.
Meet Executive Director Tammy Laws, Development Director Marcy Bursac, and Rosie, a Shalom House resident who is in recovery, today on “Speak About It!”
Shalom House (MP3, 9:6, 128 kbps, 8.4 mb)
SPSARV Podcasts Showcases Shalom House's Recovery Process for Women
Founded in 1968 Shalom House, originally called United Methodist Metro Ministry, began as an urban ministry of The United Methodist Church. Today Shalom House focuses on serving women who are homeless and suffer from mental illness and chemical dependency.
Supported by Shalom House's team of caring professionals, which includes a social worker, substance abuse counselor, psychiatric nurse, supportive services coordinator, and case workers, each woman is given a temporary home and life-changing support that enables her to address the root causes of homelessness in order to acquire and maintain permanent housing.
Local United Methodist Churches Support Shalom House
Shalom House is grateful for the partnerships it has in our community, especially with the faith community. Connection UMC has a recovery group that was piloted in their congregation but was not growing or achieving what they had hoped. To make it more impactful in terms of finding the right environment, Connection UMC approached Shalom House to partner with them. Implementing this recovery program at Shalom House achieves a couple of things. For Shalom House, it brings our residents another recovery program option that is faith-based. For Connection UMC, it allows their congregation to be involved in mission; it is building their church (several Shalom House clients and staff members have become members); and several Connection UMC members have become active participants of the group as a result.
Another meaningful UMC relationship is between Shalom House and the United Methodist Church of Green Trails (UMCGT), which has a long and storied history. More recently the UMCGT has made an intentional commitment to be involved in missions outside church walls specifically at Shalom House. In 2010, a member of UMCGT developed the concept of Covenant Partners who would make a two-year commitment to help support Shalom House with immediate and long-term needs in an effort to support the agency's mission. Pastor Nate Berneking quickly jumped on board to lead the effort, and today the Covenantal Partnership is comprised of five local churches, including UMCGT, Salem-in-Ladue UMC, Salem-in-Ballwin UMC, Clayton UMC, and Concord Trinity UMC.
After listening to this episode of SPSARV's "Speak About It!" series, start your own conversation around issues of homelessness, addiction, and the church's mission in our world. SPSARV Program Associate Juliana M. Mecera offers the following questions as discussion starters:
Podcast Study and Discussion Questions
It is likely that multiple families in your congregation have an immediate family member or relative who has been addicted to alcohol or other drugs. Consider setting up safe space (PDF) ground rules for discussion.
1. You may wish to start your discussion with prayer and/or Scripture. Have a volunteer read Genesis 18:1-8 and allow someone else to read Hebrews 13:1-3, taking a few moments of silence to reflect before and after each reading.
2. Take turns calling out the first words that come to mind when you hear the word "hospitality." Then think about the specific day-to-day work that goes on at Shalom House as one great mission of hospitality. How does that change the way you think about hospitality?
3. Shalom House, with the support of local churches and other community partners, offers treatment to women who are homeless and have mental illness and a chemical addiction. If three women addicted to alcohol or other drugs showed up at my home, I am not sure that I would respond as Abraham did. How does the ministry of the UMC of Green Trails and Connection UMC inspire you and broaden your understanding of hospitality?
4. Homelessness, mental illness, and chemical dependency are interrelated, which is why Shalom House employs a multi-disciplinary team comprised of a social worker, substance abuse counselor, psychiatric nurse, supportive services coordinator, and case workers. In what ways do you understand these issues to be related? What questions do you have?
5. Close in prayer.
You can learn more about substance abuse at umspsarv.org, through a SPSARV-sponsored training, and through other websites such as samhsa.gov, aa.org, and al-anon.alateen.org. Consider sharing what you learn with your congregation by posting a hotline number in a prominent location and/or by making available free SAHMSA , AA, or AlaNon brochures at your church. You might also want to expand this discussion with people from other local churches or begin setting up a ministry to support you own local treatment facility.
The monthly "Speak About It!" SPSARV podcast series offers an opportunity to hear the voices of the many ministries throughout The United Methodist Church where people are working to create healing from substance abuse and addiction. The SPSARV office offers hope and healing for all people, families, and churches that are living with diseases of addiction.