A YEAR TO REMEMBER by the Reverend Bruce Van Blair offers fifty-two contemplative messages on twelve-step recovery and Christianity, and nineteen messages specifically relating AA principles with Biblical precepts. The fifty-two messages were originally published in 1988 and have been in circulation within the twelve-step community and in faith communities ever since.
This second edition includes nineteen new messages that relate the twelve steps to Christian teachings, and they were written "after time for reflection and experience had a chance to 4season4 (but not lessen) some of the early delight in the two programs."
The publisher of the first edition wrote:
A person might ask, "Why publish a book on recovery for Christian people?" Or, "Why publish a book on Christianity for recovering people?" There seems to be an underlying assumption that either group might be offended by a relationship with the other. A YEAR TO REMEMBER is a milestone achievement for bringing these two groups together. The import of this coming together lies in the fact that there is so much to be gained by the relationship between the recovering person and the Church. A YEAR TO REMEMBER captures on a week-to-week basis the thrill of life discovery that comes to anyone who has ever struggled through an addiction experience, one day at a time. At the same time, the message of Christianity speaks loud and clear to ears that are open to hear the unmistakable message of life, love and fulfillment.
And the author wrote:
Several years ago, my congregation was informed, one Sunday morning, that I would not be there to preach for a few weeks because I was in an alcoholic treatment center. Thelast thing I wanted to do, when I came out of that hospital, was to stand in a pulpit and say anything to anybody!
But there was no other plan running, and I certainly hadn't had a chance to devise one. So Sunday came, and there I was. There seemed to be nothing for it but to continue doing what I had been doing, at least until we all had a chance to regroup. I assumed that meant the church would find a new minister, and I would find a new vocation.
Sunday morning came, and it was as strange and painful as I had imagined it would be. But the days after came swiftly, and other things began to happen. I was going to twelve-step meetings and church meetings and Bible Study groups. Rather quickly, people came to counsel with me again, only now some of them talked even more freely than before. Soon all of these things kept getting mixed up together until it was hard to tell where church left off and the twelve-step program began; where helping others left off and getting help myself began; where sharing in a meeting left off and preaching began.
As the weeks passed and nobody asked for my resignation, I found less and less opportunity to plan or look for my next career. It also seemed to me that the precepts of the Christian Faith were getting clearer and more personal and more practical than ever.