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Local church kicking off 'Celebrate Recovery' program

We all struggle with some sort of hang-up in life.

Whether a mistake we find difficult to live with or dealing with some painful circumstance in life, we all struggle at times. Because of those struggles, we all need recovery.

Enter Celebrate Recovery, a biblical program that helps us overcome our hurts, hang-ups and habits.
Based on the words of Jesus rather than psychological theory, the program has its origins in Bro. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church. Designed to show the loving power of Christ through a Christ-centered recovery process, Celebrate Recovery has helped more than 17,000 people at Saddleback alone, with 70 percent of those coming from outside the church.

Russellville First United Methodist Church will kick off its own CR program on Tuesday, March 7.

We all have addictions in our lives. These addictions go beyond just drugs and alcohol and can make our lives seem out-of-control. The program goal is for participants not just to recover from pains and sins but to become Christlike in their character in the process.

“No matter what situation you find yourself in, regardless of whether your problem is emotional, financial, relational, spiritual, sexual or whatever, regardless of what you need help with, God wants to help you,” said Tony Datuin, pastor of Extension Ministries for the United Methodist Church and CR coordinator.

Datuin will work with Pastor Bo Lloyd, Clint Busler and a group of eight leaders to present the CR  program at First Methodist.

“The program allows those who work through it to experience profound life change and freedom from their hurts, habits and hang-ups,” Datuin said.

Busler, a retired Methodist minister, is ‘all-in’ when it comes to CR.

“Our main role is, we are not pointing toward ‘Mr. Fix-It.’ We are pointing you to the Christ of scripture,” Busler said. “The only one who can do the fixing is you and Christ. I’ve never been sold on anything more than I am this program.”

Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program centered around eight recovery principles. Meetings are held in a confidential setting where participants never directly confront each other. Leaders have been chosen in most cases because they’ve been through and dealt with their own hurts, habits and hang-ups.

“It’s a twelve-step program, as well as an action program,” Datuin said. “We teach lessons and steps. In Alcoholics Anonymous, for example, spirituality is kind of vague. We don’t beat around the bush, and we talk about the power of Jesus Christ as saving grace to help overcome our pains and bondage.”

CR meetings will take place every Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m., with a meal, followed by a 6:30 p.m., worship service and then small group lessons. Organizers stress that the program isn’t just about alcohol or drugs. It’s for anyone dealing with issues in their lives that are causing a struggle. It may be anger, overeating, gambling, pain or guilt from past mistakes.

There’s no ‘bad’ reason to take part, Datuin said.

“It’s a proven recovery program. Thousands of people have become free from addictions, compulsive and dysfunctional behaviors and now enjoy a freedom that creates peace, serenity, joy and most importantly, a stronger personal relationship with God and others,” Datuin said.

“If you have tried everything and have not been successful, you owe it to yourself to give Celebrate Recovery a chance. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” he added.

To learn more about the program, log onto , or visit Celebrate Recovery on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. For information on CR at Russellville First United Methodist Church, contact the church at 256-332-2955.

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