The Episcopal Church enjoys a long, proud history aiding women and men recovering from alcoholism and other addictions. From the groundbreaking efforts of the Emmanuel Movement in Boston to the extraordinary influence of Sam Shoemaker leading to the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Episcopal Church has stood at the forefront of addiction recovery.

Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, NY

Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, NY

Our community

Our Shoemaker Community evolved out of those efforts within the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. A small group of us began to recognize that while the need for bringing recovery to our churches remains as great as ever, a growing need is also emerging to find new and innovative ways for bringing the Good News of the gospel to those in 12-Step Fellowships. We are dedicated to doing that work.

pioneer members

Before AA was founded, its pioneer members came to recovery through the Oxford Group. Originally known as "A First Century Christian Fellowship," this original program sought to bring about a change in the world by changing one person at a time. The Group profoundly changed its pioneer members resulting in recovery rates far higher than those we are seeing today. Two Way Prayer, and the Four Standards of Absolute Honesty, Purity, Unselfishness, and Love formed the heart of their life-changing program. They form the heart of our Community today.

christian seekers

Having rediscovered this lost practice for ourselves, we are answering God's call to share it with today's spiritual seekers. We are a small group of men and women committed to recovery and organizing ourselves as a "Christian Community" as defined by the Canons of the Episcopal Church. We follow Sam Shoemaker's vision of finding Christ in us and in those we serve by living a monastic Rule of Life grounded in prayer, study, fellowship, and service. We have no desire to leave or replace our individual 12-Step Fellowships; we seek rather to deepen and enrich our recoveries by joining with like-minded Christian seekers. Being widely dispersed geographically, we form nurturing groups and communities wherever God may lead us. We grow ever closer to him and to one another through our life of daily prayer, effective study, and committed service.


Something was lost from A.A. when we stopped emphasizing the morning meditation.
— Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous