Our History

The UUA Addictions Ministry grew out of the work of the Rev. Denis Meacham, author of the Skinner House book, The Addiction Ministry Handbook: A Guide for Faith Communities.

Denis recognized the effects of addictions on individuals, families, and the larger congregational community. Meacham envisioned a congregation-based program to identify and support individual members affected by drug, alcohol and other addictions. Rev. Meacham was a persistent, early voice in holding up addiction and recovery as issues often neglected by faith communities in general and Unitarian Universalism in particular. Through his encouragement, a group of activists from throughout the United States met in Chicago in April 2006. These early steps to convene a national group were supported by the UUA and the Rev. Dr. Michelle Bentley, then Professional Development Director of the UUA Department of Ministry and Professional Leadership.

In 2008, the group, by then known as the Addictions Ministry Task Force, met in Boston under the leadership of the Rev. Alex Holt and the Rev. Jory Agate, UUA Ministerial Development Director. One result of that meeting was a collective commitment to call for a unified, UUA-endorsed, staff and lay-led Addictions Ministry Committee. Since then, the Addictions Ministry has grown and continues to gain entry into Unitarian Universalist districts and congregations. The Addictions Ministry is committed to supporting individuals, families, congregations, districts, and communities in facing the challenges of addiction and the hope of recovery as affirming of our Seven Principles and the UU Sources