COTM hosts an a very Active AA group that holds several meetings here in the course a week. They are good guests of the place, and we are pleased to be able to help so many in recovery. Every year they have a Christmas dinner and every year they invite the Rector. So I stood up and opened with my predecessor's quip, "Hello, my name is Tay, and I'm a priest," and then I promptly gave him credit.
Although I've never suffered from addiction, I've certainly known many who have. My first real introduction to AA came back in Los Angeles when I rented a room from a recovering alcoholic. He had many years of sobriety and was very active in the program. He would talk a lot about it and I learned much from him. In the years since then I've bumped up against the program in various other personal and professional contexts and have to say that it is certainly a good thing that has helped millions of people.
I also note that the whole thing is really the application of a theology with clear Christian roots. Yes, the higher power can be anything/one, but the AA way of understanding things like the human person, freedom, sin and redemption, and so on clearly (to my mind, at least) reveal Judeo-Christian roots. I hope that's nothing to be apologetic about!
The AA folks at tonight's meeting were a very kind, generous, and hopeful bunch. They laughed politely at my jokes and had many nice and welcoming things to say to me individually. And they cook a mean turkey!