Celebrate Recovery offers support in fight against addictions

Published 8:27am Friday, May 30, 2014

What do you do, and where do you go for support if you’re a recovering alcoholic, drug addict or sex addict?
Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction isn’t easy, but if there are people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, it’s a little less difficult.
Oak Street Baptist Church hosts a weekly program — Celebrate Recovery — for individuals and their families, who are dealing with emotional distress and addictive issues.
Danny Williams, who volunteers with the program, said he likes to think of Celebrate Recovery as imperfect people helping other imperfect people learn the skills to navigate through a world that is often very toxic and painful. “We provide a place to receive and give support in dealing with the hurts, habits and hang-ups that many of the individuals face,” Williams explained.
Anonymity and confidentiality are “foundational principles” of the Celebrate Recovery program. “It has to be a safe place to pull the masks off and get honest,” Williams said, noting that testimonies are an integral part of the program.
“Just from some of the people who come to the church and from the community, we have seen a great need in Carter County for this church-based recovery program.” Williams said.
Sometimes as many as a dozen people are involved in the program at one time.
Oak Street Pastor Bruce Hendrich, who is very much involved in the program, explained: “We want to reach out to people who are hurting, who are not living an abundant life. The Celebrate Recovery Program teaches principles, which helps people who are hurting learn to live victoriously and get the joy back into their lives, to get closer to God and fellowship with other people. They get rid of things like addiction. They lean how to deal with abuses and hangups that keep them from living a victorious life and being a productive member of society. Our goal is to help them, reach out to them and love them and show them the way to Christ.”
Hendrich said the goal of Celebrate Recovery is complete transformation where both the mind and the body benefit from learning new and effective ways to cope with our past, our present and our future redemptively.
Williams further explained that Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program that uses eight Recovery Principles based on the Sermon on the Mount. “Even in the reader’s guide, it says it is for gambling addictions, food addictions, sexual addictions, sexual abuse, domestic violence, drug addiction, alcoholism, whatever hurts you…,” he said.
“We understand that authentic transformation occurs over time and is rarely quick and is never perfect,” said Williams, who went to seminary and trained to be a leader in the program. “It was something that I felt God very much wanted me to do, and I am fully committed to the program,” he shared.
Chemical dependency is just one of the problems that is dealt with during the sessions. “There are so many hangups that people have that keep them from living an abundant life,” Williams said. “We just want them to get past them, to give them encouragement and offer them guidance in how to overcome.”
Williams said the sessions vary from six weeks to 12 weeks and include DVD instruction, prayer and fellowship.
Sessions are held each Wednesday and Sunday.
The Wednesday evening session begins between 6 and 6:30 p.m. with food and refreshments. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. with prayer concerns, followed by a Bible teaching on recovery.
“There are also testimonies. At one recent session, one of our participants shared how during a suicide attempt, God came to him and promised him forgiveness and change if he would give his life to him. Now, he is a witness every day to that change in his life,” Williams shared.
The Sunday session begins at 6 p.m.
The group meets in the house behind the Oak Street Baptist Church directly beside the gymnasium. “We have a big 15-foot banner hanging across the house that says ‘Celebrate Recovery,’” said Williams.
For more information, anyone can call the church at 542-4022 or call 958-0077.

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