Weekly thoughts from the Rector of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, where these words remind us that Jesus’ peace goes with us into the world.
The Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP) began in 1971 here at Palmer when, as described on the PDAP website, the Rev. Charlie Wyatt-Brown “reached out to a recovering addict/alcoholic and offered him love, support, and hope. This man, in turn, began working with adolescents and parents in the community and began the first PDAP support group in the church basement. These men recognized there was a youth population afflicted with drug and alcohol problems and took it upon themselves to develop a treatment program based on acceptance, love, and kindness. Through their collaborative efforts, PDAP was established. The meetings followed a twelve-step program similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous, but designed to be peer driven.”
During the 1970s, one of the daughters of comedian Carol Burnett came to Houston and entered PDAP. Ms. Burnett talked about her daughter’s drug addiction openly in print interviews and on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She also mentioned PDAP and details about that struggle in a book that she co-authored with her daughter about their relationship.
PDAP eventually outgrew its space at Palmer. But that story of love continues on the campus of our church through Archway Academy, a high school for teenagers in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.
I’m pleased to announce that PDAP will hold a reunion at Palmer for its alumni/ae on the first weekend in June. And on Sunday, June 5, there will be a Recovery Eucharist in the church at 3:00 p.m. Alleluia!
— The Rev. Neil Alan Willard, Rector