SIDNEY — Area residents who are trying to overcome hurts, hang-ups or habits have a new place here to go for help.
Celebrate Recovery Sidney opened in January in the Connection Point Church of God, 1510 Campbell Road.
Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program based on words of Jesus rather than psychological theory, according to the national program’s website. Local organizers Jennie Feazel, who serves as the ministry leader, and Cyndi Fischer, the assimilation coach, said it took about a year of planning and training to get the project off the ground.
“Celebrate Recovery was founded in 1991,” Fischer said. It was the vision of Larry Hughes II to start a group in Sidney. Several of the Sidney group’s leaders had been attending sessions in Wapakoneta and saw the opportunity to do something locally to tackle the community’s problems.
“Our church believed in it. They gave us a budget to work with,” Feazel said.
The support group is designed for anyone who wants help with a problem.
“It could be codependency, anger issues, sexual abuse, overeating, financial problems, grief, sexual addictions. It doesn’t have to be drug or alcohol addiction,” Feazel said.
The sessions take place at 6 p.m., Thursdays. Participants should use Door 3 at the church. There is no charge to attend; however, there are printed materials published by the program available for purchase.
“We see Jesus as our higher power,” Fischer said. Therefore, sessions begin with a large-group worship session before they break into small, gender-specific groups to talk through issues.
“When you talk, it’s just you, talking,” she said. “There’s no advice. We’re not there to fix anybody. We’re there for support. This is an amazing program and all of our leaders, including myself, are working the program for our things just like everyone else.”
There are separate “step study” meetings during which participants work through a 12-step process. But, Feazel noted, “This isn’t something (where) you do the 12 steps and you’re done. It’s not like a counseling session and you’re done. It’s a forever family. I hope when I’m 70, I’m still going to Celebrate Recovery.”
She added that the program helps most those who are ready to be helped, “somebody who’s sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
“I’m there because of what I went through as an abused child and for abandonment issues because I was put into foster care,” Fischer said. “I’m 36 and still dealing with things from when I was 6 or 7. It’s nice to walk into a room with people who know what I’m going through and just talk. There’s no judgment, no ‘you should do this.’”
Celebrate Recovery is open to everyone. Participants do not have to be members of Connection Point Church of God. The hope is to increase attendance to permit small groups dedicated to specific hurts, hang-ups and habits, the women said. There is a need for leaders to make that happen.
Celebrate Recovery state representative Laura Schneer will conduct a training session for leaders, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“The training is open to anyone,” Fischer said. People interested in being leaders are not required to have attended meetings before they take the leadership training.
For information about the program or the leadership training, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.