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Dick B interviews Christian Recovery leader Karen Plavan

  • Broadcast in Religion
Christian Recovery Radio with DickB

Christian Recovery Radio with DickB


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Our guest is Karen A. Plavan, Ph.D., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a Christian Recovery Leader and Interim Chairperson of our International Christian Recovery Coalition. In addition, she holds these posts: Director, The Oasis Recovery Center of Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, PA:; Assistant Professor, Counselor Education—Chemical Dependency, The Pennsylvania State University; and Adjunct Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She has just assumed a new post involving CLEAR—an outreach program she will explain briefly today. Karen is also Curator of our Shoemaker Room Collection at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh.
Karen is an experienced fireball when it comes to organizing, coordinating, and leading pastoral, governmental, Christian, and chemical dependency conferences and councils. I first met her in the offices of the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation several years ago. I could see that she had an intense interest in and knowledge of the biblical roots of Alcoholics Anonymous and the particular role played by Rev. Samuel M. Shoemaker, Jr., Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh. In the days since the founding of A.A., Shoemaker had become less and less known in the recovery arena despite his towering books, sermons, articles, pamphlets, and his former connection as the chief American lieutenant of the Oxford Group when it held offices in his Calvary House at Calvary Church in New York. Shoemaker had an immense influence on A.A. co-founder Bill W. and the elements of his Big Book and Twelve Steps. In fact, Bill W. had once asked Shoemaker to write the Twelve Steps. (Sam declined.)
Once we became acquainted, Karen helped me immensely in my research of Shoemaker’s role in Pennsylvania, in the Pittsburgh Experiment, with the so-called “golf club crowd,” with Calvary Church, and with prayer groups.