By Rachel Dove
CHATTAROY - “Reaching out to those with hurts, habits and hang-ups” are the words used by the Chattaroy Church of God to advertise a program called “Celebrate Recovery,” which is holding an informational program at 7 p.m. today at the church.
Founders of the spiritually based support group now have their own reasons to celebrate as they approach the three-year milestone of a journey that has helped countless individuals.
The purpose of “Celebrate Recovery” is to encourage fellowship and celebrate God’s healing power in a person’s life through the eight recovery principals found in the Beatitudes and Christ-centered 12 Step programs. This experience allows all who attend to be changed. The program opens doors by sharing personal experiences, victories and hopes with one another. In addition, participants become willing to accept God’s grace in solving life’s problems.
By working the Christ-centered steps and applying their biblical principals, those who are hurting and seeking help can begin to grow spiritually. The goal is to assist those facing crisis in their lives to become free from their addictive, compulsive and dysfunctional behaviours. This freedom can create peace, serenity, joy and, most importantly, a stronger personal relationship with God and their fellow man. As they progress through the principles and the steps, they soon discover a personal, loving and forgiving higher power, Jesus Christ.
Celebrate Recovery began when the seed was planted three years ago to provide an outreach ministry to the hurting, the lost and those who feel there is no hope. The program provides a solution through the eight recovery principles. Participants will learn that they no longer have to rely on a dysfunctional, compulsive and addictive behaviour as a temporary “fix” for their pain.
Celebrate Recovery offers assistance in overcoming such obstacles as alcoholism, divorce, sexual abuse, co-dependency, domestic violence, drug addiction, sexual addiction and food addiction, among many others.
Some of the frequently asked questions about Celebrate Recovery and the answers to them are as follows:
What does Celebrate Recovery offer? It offers a safe place to share, a refuge, a place of belonging, a place to care for others and be cared for, a place where respect is given and confidentiality is highly regarded. It is a place to learn and to grow, and to become strong again. It allows participants to see a possible turning point in their life; a new direction.
What does Celebrate Recovery not claim to be? It is not a place for selfish control. Not a place of therapy, not a place for secrets, not a place to look for dating relationships, not a place to rescue or to be rescued by others and not a place for perfection. The group is not a quick fix, nor do they judge others.
What will Celebrate Recovery Small Group sessions do for me? They will provide a safe place to share your experiences, victories and hopes with others who are going through a Christ-centered recovery. It will provide a leader who has gone through a similar hurt, hang-up or habit. It will give you an opportunity to find an accountability partner or sponsor.
What will Celebrate Recovery not do for me? It will not attempt to offer any professional clinical advice. Those in charge are church leaders, not counselors. Nor will the group allow its members to attempt to “fix” one another.
The eight principles based on the Beatitudes used in Celebrate Recovery are:
(1) Realize that I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.
(2) Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, and that he has the power to help me recover.
(3) Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
(4) Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God and to someone I trust.
(5) Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask him to remove my character defects.
(6) Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.
(7) Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination. Bible reading and praying in order to know God and his will for my life and to gain power to follow his will.
(8) Yield myself to God to be used to bring this good news to others, both by my examples and by my words.
This evening, the public is invited to attend the three-year anniversary celebration of the program, where you will be able to hear personal testimonies from those who have successfully overcome their tribulations through Celebrate Recovery. Informational pamphlets will be distributed, and group leaders will be on hand to answer any questions anyone may have.
“We invite you to come and see how God is moving at the Chattaroy Church of God, and see for yourself what Celebrate Recovery can do for you,” said Program Leader Marge Fletcher.
“No matter what problems you are facing, or what issues you are striving to overcome, Celebrate Recovery will welcome you with open arms and show you what a difference God’s love can make in your life.”
For additional information, you may call the church at 304-235-3005.