Church program 'celebrates recovery'
| April 29, 2010 9:00 PM
More than 20 years of drug and alcohol abuse reached its peak for Jennifer Scott four years ago. After a long night of drinking, the Coeur d'Alene woman remembered, she and her ex-husband let a disagreement fly out of control.
More than 20 years of drug and alcohol abuse reached its peak for Jennifer Scott four years ago.
After a long night of drinking, the Coeur d'Alene woman remembered, she and her ex-husband let a disagreement fly out of control.
"We were both still feeling the effects of the alcohol from the night before. We got into a heated argument with lots of screaming and yelling," she said. "Eventually, we both broke into tears and embraced. I said, 'What are we doing? This has to stop.'"
That night they both attended their first meeting of Celebrate Recovery, a recovery program that has been adopted by churches nationwide since 1991.
Scott, 42, attributes the spiritually based program to her current sobriety, as well as her remarriage to her husband.
"It was pretty immediate. You could really sense hope for the future," Scott said of the program's impact. "It's very deliberate with all the steps. It's in-depth, and forces you to take a look at your life."
Many others are following the same path.
Since starting its own Celebrate Recovery program last October, New Life Community Church in Rathdrum sees more than 50 community members turn out to weekly meetings, said Scott, now a New Life ministry leader.
The church initiated the program because of need, said Executive Pastor Dave Warnick.
"We were being approached by people who had issues in their lives and needed a place to deal with them that was more than a Sunday meeting," Warnick said.
But now the church has need, too.
The donation-funded program must grow to meet demand, Warnick said, which is why New Life is asking for item donations to auction at its first major fundraiser for the recovery program.
The church is asking for any kinds of items except for clothes, Warnick said, preferably in new condition and that can be included in a gift basket.
All proceeds will support the program, including purchasing educational literature and funding meals and childcare for participants.
"This is a very practical way of changing the character and morals of the community," he said.
The program reaches out to folks with any addiction, he said, whether substance abuse or gambling or food-related issues.
"There have been several people who have come and said, 'I thought this was for other people,'" he said. "This is for every life issue."
Scott, now a program leader for the women's group - her husband is a leader for the men's group - said participants come from all walks of life, whether from straight out of jail, referred from the DUI courts or just off the streets.
"They have a tendency to find us. Most is word of mouth," she said.
Donations for the auction can be dropped off at New Life Church, at 6068 W. Hayden Ave. in Rathdrum.
The fundraiser will be held from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on June 5 at the church. The afternoon will include a live auction, silent auction and children's activities.
Scott said she's confident the program will have many more success stories to come.
"For people who can't afford treatment, this is a very in-depth alternative that requires a one-year commitment with the step studies," she said. "It's a very powerful program."