Lo­cal group cel­e­brates re­cov­ery from “hurts, habits, and hang-ups.”

The Covington News - - Front page - By Chris Queen news@cov­news.com

Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery, a Christ-cen­tered re­cov­ery pro­gram for “hurts, habits, and hang-ups,” marks its 10th an­niver­sary at Eastridge Com­mu­nity Church at its reg­u­lar meet­ing at 7 p.m. on Jan. 13.

The pro­gram’s co-founder, John Baker, will be at the meet­ing.

“I’m go­ing to speak for a few min­utes that night and tell peo­ple how proud I am of them,” said Baker. “We’ll also look at the next 10 years. I ex­pect to see a lot of peo­ple cel­e­brat­ing.”

Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery be­gan 20 years ago at Sad­dle­back Church in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, when Baker, a re­cov­er­ing al­co­holic, shared with Pas­tor Rick War­ren about the need for a Christ-cen­tered re­cov­ery pro­gram. War­ren and Baker started Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery, and it is now in 19,000 churches world­wide. Baker heads the min­istry on an in­ter­na­tional level.

The min­istry be­gan in Newton County when pas­tors at Eastridge Com­mu­nity Church picked up a startup kit at a Sad­del­back con­fer­ence.

Brad and Re­nee Rut­ledge helped launch the min­istry, and they have since be­come full-time staff at the church. He is Pas­tor of Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery and Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery’s South­east Re­gional Di­rec­tor, while she di­rects the min­istry at Eastridge.

Un­like other 12-step pro­grams, Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery places Je­sus Christ and Bib­li­cal prin­ci­ples at the cen­ter of re­cov­ery. The pro­gram is not just for those re­cov­er­ing from drug or al­co­hol depen­dency. The min­istry looks at the causes of ad­dic­tion and hurt and shows how to over­come them through Christ.

“The truth is, less than a quar­ter of our par­tic­i­pants strug­gle with the ad­dic­tions,” said Re­nee Rut­ledge. “Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery is for any­one who strug­gles with a hurt, habit or hang-up. The feel­ing of be­ing hurt is an emo­tional re­ac­tion to an­other per­son’s be­hav­ior or to a sit­u­a­tion, such as aban­don­ment, abuse, divorce, re­jec­tion, un­faith­ful­ness of a spouse, code­pen­dency, or grief. A habit is an ad­dic­tion to some­one or some­thing: al­co­hol, drugs, food, pornog­ra­phy, shop­ping, cut­ting, steal­ing, or peo­ple. Hang-ups are neg­a­tive mental at­ti­tudes that are used to cope with peo­ple or hard­ship, such as anger, de­pres­sion, fear, shame, un­for­give­ness, prej­u­dices, un­grate­ful­ness or be­ing neg­a­tive. As you can see, we deal with any and ev­ery strug­gle that ev­ery­one deals with.”

Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery launched at Eastridge in Jan­uary 2001 with 27 in at­ten­dance. The pro­gram meets Thurs­days and now serves 294 in step study groups and chil­dren and stu­dent min­istries.

First Bap­tist Church in Cov­ing­ton launched a Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery in 2009 that meets on Mon­days. Ox­ford’s Crosspointe Bap­tist Church be­gan Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery in Oc­to­ber. The group meets Tues­days.

“Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery taught us both to rely on Christ for all of our needs,” said Mandy Cor­ley, who, with her hus­band, Ja­son, leads the min­istry at Crosspointe. “We are for­ever grate­ful for this pro­gram and felt the call to have one at our home church. We are ex­cited about what God will do through Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery at Crosspointe.”

Rut­ledge says she has seen many lives res­cued from despair and bro­ken mar­riages re­stored. The pro­gram has led 323 peo­ple to be­come part of the Eastridge church fam­ily.

“Women trapped in code­pen­dency find free­dom in set­ting healthy bound­aries with their fam­ily mem­bers. Men trapped in sex­ual ad­dic­tion find free­dom in ac­count­abil­ity, the process of for­give­ness, and over­com­ing the past,” said Rut­ledge. “God trans­forms lives through Cel­e­brate Re­cov­ery and gives us a pur­pose.”

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