CHICKASAW COUNTY – Scott and Pam Samuell have seen what addiction is doing to people in their community.
“We have seen so many people in Chickasaw County with problems and they just don’t know how to handle them or who to turn to,” said Scott Samuell, pastor of Pearson Chapel Church of the Nazarene. “That’s why we have formed Celebrate Recovery.”
Samuell said the group will meet at 7 p.m. Nov. 5, at Pearson Chapel Church of the Nazarene at 512 County Road 24. They will meet every Tuesday night at the same time and location thereafter.
While Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program, there is a difference.
“Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program that helps us overcome our hurts, hang-ups, and habits,” said Samuell. “It is based on the actual words of Jesus rather than psychological theory.”
But Samuell said no one who attends will be “thumped with a Bible.”
“We’ve all got hang-ups and addictions, and I’ve had mine,” said Samuell. “We try to meet people where they are, help them when we can and show them they can rise above their situation.”
Pam Samuell pointed out Celebrate Recovery is not just for alcoholics.
“The addiction can be pornography, gambling, sex, drugs, violence, anger, eating, depression, spending money unwisely,” said Pam. “And we want to stress our fellowships are confidential.”
Pam said refreshments will be served at each meeting and there will be childcare offered.
Scott Samuell said the meeting will last about an hour and all facilitators have been screened and trained.
“We have been working to get this off the ground for about a year,” said Samuell. “Our people have received training about how Celebrate Recovery works, how people are to be treated and what is expected of them.”
Twenty years ago, Saddleback Church, in Los Angeles, launched Celebrate Recovery with 43 people. It was designed as a program to help those struggling with hurts, habits and hang-ups by showing them the loving power of Jesus Christ through a recovery process.
Celebrate Recovery has helped more than 17,000 people at Saddleback, attracting over 70 percent of its members from outside the church. Eighty-five percent of the people who go through the program stay with the church and nearly half serve as church volunteers.
Celebrate Recovery is now in over 20,000 churches worldwide.
“We would love to see other churches in the area get involved,” said Samuell. “They can support this program, send people to us or come and see about starting a program at their church.”
Samuell said addiction is often a carefully hidden problem in the church.
“People don’t want to talk about it or they think they have learned to hide it,” said Samuell. “There are people who sit on pews every Sunday with massive burdens. Jesus tells us repeatedly to give our burdens to him.
“Like I said earlier, this program works,” he added. “I wouldn’t be involved with it – this church would not be involved with it – if it didn’t”
Anyone considering Celebrate Recovery is urged to ask themselves four questions:
Are there things in my life that I do that hurt others?
Is there something I wish I could live without?
Is it time to crack my denial and admit I am not in control of my life?
Do I have a painful habit or hang-up from which I need to be freed?
For more information about Celebrate Recovery the Samuells urged people to attend Tuesday’s first meeting.