Posted on June 25, 2011 in General News

For over 12 years I have been a part of an amazing ministry called Northstar Community. A recovery ministry for anyone with “Hurts, Habits or Hang-ups,” it began as an eight-week pilot program of Bon Air Baptist Church in Chesterfield County. At its heart is a Christ-centered twelve-step program.Lori and I showed up the first week to support our friends the McBeans.Teresa McBean, our minister, is now recognized as one of the preeminent leaders in the field of Faith Based Recovery.

Lori and I felt an immediate connection to the message, even though we had no active addiction issues.My dad was an alcoholic and ultimately committed suicide due to the disease and his unwillingness to honestly work the steps.Right away I knew that my experience would be useful to the ministry.Lori felt Teresa’s messages were just for her. We quickly committed to join in an amazing journey with an incredible group of pilgrims.Lori and I both feel that working our personal 12 steps helped us more than anything else we did to deal with the grief of our son’s death.As we have learned, we all have hurts, habits, and hang-ups that we need to work through.Northstar is a great place for anyone to work through personal issues, whether or not they are directly related to addiction or not.

I am discovering that just about everyone has been touched by addiction, either directly or indirectly.All of us know someone who suffers from the disease of addiction or have a close friend whose family member is hurting.Yet we are often unaware because it is the dirty little family secret.At Northstar we have a number of support groups for addicts and the ones who love them.We have learned that it is not just the addict who needs help, it is everyone they touch.As I learned, a family member’s addiction affects everyone in many ways. My dad was sober for twelve years before he relapsed.I felt if he wasn’t drinking then things would be good in the family, but they were not really any better. A person getting sober does not solve the problems alone; the whole family and all of the loved ones need help.We have support groups to help families navigate through these stormy waters.

We have an excellent website,, which gives a more complete picture of the ministry. If you go to the website you may even see yours truly delivering an occasional message. Yes we do live on the “high wire without a net,” letting a lawyer deliver the message for a church community.Our community gatherings are broadcast weekly on Channel 6, the Richmond CBS affiliate, at 11:30 Sunday mornings.