By DAVID GREEN
Complications from an unfriendly divorce.
Unwanted extra pounds, and a hunger for more sweets.
An appetite for gambling or alcohol or pornography.
A feeling of depression or unhappiness with life.
The challenges facing people are many and varied, but there’s a program that’s helped many people through a variety of “life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups.”
Morenci’s Church of the Nazarene began offering the Celebrate Recovery program this week, with open meetings continuing every Monday 6:30 p.m.
It’s a 12-step recovery program, said leader Jane Ream, but unlike Alcoholics Anonymous, it covers a variety of challenges and it’s based on scripture from the Bible.
Ream joined Morenci’s Nazarene church about a year ago as the administrative pastor. She Jodi Owens, wife of the church pastor, Dennis Owens, were both trained in leading Celebrate Recovery sessions. The program originated at California’s Saddleback Church in the 1990s.
“I have a few friends who lead the program in other locations and I felt very strongly that it was something Morenci needed,” Ream said.
She sees the current economic conditions as an especially good time for the program to begin here.
“We’re dealing with difficult economic times and people are struggling, not only with their jobs and their homes,” she said, “but when they feel helpless and defeated, they often turn to alcohol or drugs.”
Addictions and compulsive behaviors tend to increase and she believes Celebrate Recovery can help.
After the first three weeks of the open meetings, those who have formed a bond will begin meeting together on another night, then a new group will form.
“My goal is to have groups that deal with specific addictions and compulsions,” Ream said.
Three lay leaders have been trained to work with men’s groups and two are in training for women. Eventually, Ream expects them to take over leadership. She would also like to see the development of teen recovery groups in the future.
Saddleback pastor Rick Warren describes the program as based on the words of Jesus rather than on psychological theory.
Rather than wallowing in the past, he said, the program leads participants to start making wise choices for the future, to take personal responsibility, and to make a spiritual commitment.
Ream wants people to view the program as giving people a place to work on behaviors that are troubling them.
“We just want to reach out to people in Morenci and provide them with a safe have,” she said.