Pondering for Friday, January 31, 2020

Readings for Sam Shoemaker (1893-1963)

Psalm 130 Isaiah 51:17–52:1a 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 Luke 4:40-44

“As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. Demons also came out of many, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah.” (Luke 4: 40 – 41)

Just as our Lord Jesus insisted on anonymity with regard to the source of His power, so too did Sam Shoemaker, whom we remember today.  As I have many who are very close to me making use of the twelve step program I feel Sam Shoemaker should be brought to our attention. All of the below was taken from on line at http://www.satucket.com/lectionary/sam_shoemaker.htm

Sam Shoemaker, DD, STD (1893-1963), was an Episcopal priest who was instrumental in the Oxford Group and founding principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. Dr. Samuel Moor Shoemaker was the rector of the Calvary Church in New York City, which was the United States headquarters of the Oxford Group. Bill Wilson attended Oxford Group meetings at the Calvary Church and Sam was instrumental in assisting Bill Wilson with the writing of the book Alcoholics Anonymous (nickname: The Big Book). Bill acknowledged this linkage when he wrote in the book, A.A. Comes of Age (page 39):

In 1917, Sam Shoemaker had been sent to China to start a branch of the YMCA and to teach at the Princeton-in-China Program. There, in 1918, feeling discouraged, he first met Frank Buchman who told him of the four absolutes, honesty, purity and unselfishness and love. Later, Shoemaker would speak of the meeting as a major influence for the start of his ministry, that being the time when he decided to let go of self and let God guide his life

Bill Wilson, in 1955, would later give credit to Sam Shoemaker whom he referred to as a co-founder of AA.  ” It was from Sam Shoemaker, that we absorbed most of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, steps that express the heart of AA’s way of life. Dr. Silkworth gave us the needed knowledge of our illness, but Sam Shoemaker had given us the concrete knowledge of what we could do about it, he passed on the spiritual keys by which we were liberated. The early AA got its ideas of self-examination, acknowledgement of character defects, restitution for harm done, and working with others straight from the Oxford Group and directly from Sam Shoemaker, their former leader in America, and from nowhere else.”

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  John

One thought on “Pondering for Friday, January 31, 2020

  1. This was very interesting to hear. AA does a lot of good if the people who attend go voluntarily and not told to go by the courts. I speak from experience from Mike.


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