Written by Gary Underwood, Missing Peace Team Facilitator
First Presbyterian Church, Edmond, Oklahoma
MISSING PEACE ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma was initially conceived in February 2013 although the principles did not know they would give birth to a new ministry at the time.
It was then that five members of the church attended their first training program lead by Austin-based FAITH PARTNERS, INC. Drew Brooks and Jan Tipton introduced our church members to the idea of a team dedicated to helping those in our congregation who struggled with addiction. It was no consequence that those attending were lead to the training as each had a life-story to tell about how addiction impacted them. In fact, all those in attendance that day, including churches from every corner of Oklahoma had addiction stories to tell.
Prayer and more consideration led this initial group to feel led by Christ to build upon the concept of a recovery team capable of being the “first-responders” to people in crisis within our church and community and subsequent training pointed us to determining our congregation’s needs in this regard.
FAITH PARTNERS, Inc. provided and tallied the results of a congregation-wide survey which was handed out and collected at one Sunday service. The results showed a clear need for congregational education and assistance.
The survey also pointed to those who might have an interest in launching such a ministry and they were contacted and we began to meet monthly. Right now, we have a core group of about 8 who have consistently dedicated their time and skill sets to growing our new ministry. We sometimes are “feeling our way in the dark”, but have felt that our ministry, in its infancy, is making progressive steps.
To date we have formed a mission statement, adopted a name (MISSING PEACE), continued training with the help of FAITH PARTNERS, had monthly meetings with guest speakers sharing stories of recovery and educating us on the addicted brain, shown an educational video to our core group and to a church and community-wide group of over 70 people. We are making ourselves known.
We are in the process of refining a resource directory to aid us in pointing anyone coming to us for help to someone who can help them. The last training session conducted by FAITH PARTNERS, Inc. served to add even more enthusiasm to the core group of individuals in our ministry, but we have much more to do.
The various publications provided by Faith Partners have been instrumental to all we accomplished. The vision and inspiration provided by Drew is priceless.