12 Step Spirituality Worship Series

Texts: Steps 2 & 3; Mark 10:17-27


The man in our story for today has no name. His story shows up in three of the four gospels. Here in Mark’s gospel he is simply described as “a man.”  In Matthew’s version, he is explicitly described as a young man. In Luke’s he is called “a certain ruler.”  In all of them, it eventually becomes clear that he is rich.

In amalgamation, this has come to be known as the story of the Rich Young Ruler. But in none of the versions does this person have a name. Instead, he becomes known by how others perceive him, how others label him.

As we explore the spirituality of the 12 Steps, many of you may be like me and have only second-hand knowledge of the steps and stereotypical images of the kinds of groups that utilize them. One of the most prevalent images is of a person standing before a group, introducing themselves and declaring that they are an alcoholic,...





Taking the First Step
Text: Psalm 32:3-5a; Romans 7:15-20
Speaker: Joel Miller

According to M. Scott Peck, the psychiatrist best known for his book The Road Less Traveled, the greatest positive event of the 20th century occurred in Akron, Ohio.  I’ll say that again to make sure it registers: According to renowned psychiatrist Scott Peck, the greatest positive event of the 20th century occurred in Akron, Ohio.  The quote is from 1993, so for all you basketball fans out there, he was not making a prediction about the rise of Akron-born basketball great Lebron James who, as a 9 year old, still hadn’t quite perfected his jumpshot.

Here’s the full quote, from Peck’s book Further Along The Road Less Traveled:

I believe the greatest positive event of the 20th century occurred in Akron, Ohio…when Bill W. and Dr. Bob convened the first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.  It was not only the beginning of the self-help movement and the beginning of the integration of science and spirituality at a grass-roots...

There is no video for this service.

Reflection | Cindy Fath

Like many of us, I grew up being outdoors. On our farm, we had a woodlot to explore, vast fields of crops, a large track of lawn and garden, pastures with animals and endless trees to climb. And if that wasn’t enough, we were also free to roam my grandparents’ farms, one who lived just a few minutes away.  Since I can remember, I have preferred the outdoors over the indoors.  My specialty was hiding in a tall tree, leaning my back against the trunk amidst the leaves and reading until my mom figured out where I was.

During my childhood summers, my next door grandpa, Grandpa Sommers, who didn’t do a lot of farm work anymore, appointed himself to stalk thistles and other undesirable weeds on our properties.  With his trusty hoe, well-sharpened on a grindstone that made sparks fly, he’d “hoe and conquer.”  I don’t know how old I was when I began accompanying him on his rounds. He liked the company and I liked skipping out on house cleaning and other such hard labor. We’d traipse the farm and fence rows, observing birds or eating nature’s...





Tie the Knot and Pass the Pie 
Text: Matthew 9:9-26
Speaker: Joel Miller


The kin-dom of God is like a woman who went out and found a colorful piece of fabric.  She called her friends who brought other fabric and together they cut the material into smaller pieces, mixed and arranged them into pleasing patterns.  They sewed the pieces back into one whole cloth.  They layered other material to that – one on the bottom for comfort, one in the middle for warmth, and the top piece for beauty.  Then they called more of their friends, saying, Come, join in the making.  Many friends, old and young, came and gathered around.  They sat and conversed and laughed as they guided their needles and threads.  At each intersection of piece meeting piece, through each layer, they tied a knot, binding together comfort, warmth, and beauty.  At the completion of each new whole, they rang a bell and celebrated.  Then they enjoyed a feast of soup...