Affiliate called to be a sunbeam

Affiliate called to be a sunbeam

“A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.”  - Francis of Assisi
As I reached the celebration of my third renewal as an FSPA affiliate, I have had the opportunity to reflect upon the special opportunity I need to be a sunbeam to others.

Working with the sisters at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center in Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin, and with a group involved in addiction recovery, we planned a week in a cabin. That glorious week included sharing, kayaking, drumming on the Trout Lake shore and evening campfires. Invited guests experienced a deep level of trust and intimate sharing. We discussed deep concerns, offered support to one another, shared meals and prayed together as we worked our 12-step program. Prayers, tears of joy and laughter overcame fears and anxieties during the time spent in this beautiful, sacred and safe place called Marywood. The results were amazing and we are already planning a similar event for 2017.

 It has been both privilege and blessing to be involved with Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon Family Groups for the past 11 years. This very broken group of individuals is often alienated from the mainstream of society. I believe St. Francis has called us to be a sunbeam among the many shadows in life, and that the Gospel message urges us to bring joy and offer hope to all beings.

Sincere thanks go to the sisters at Marywood for their kindness, support and assistance in making this event happen.
Affiliate Addie Halfmann, who worked with Barb Grzywacz (pictured above) in developing this note of gratitude, adds that Barb is also involved in prison ministry, volunteers and speaks at Koinonia Residential Treatment Center in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, and serves as a mentor in the newly formed Tri-County Alliance CARE (Community Addiction Recovery Empowerment). Alliance CARE is based on recovery through empathy and love rather than prosecution. According to Addie, “Barb is an active member of the Wisdom Walkers affiliate companion group and is a steadfast witness to her baptism.”

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