CR in Caraway celebrating two years
Celebrate Recovery (CR) is a well-established program that changes lives forever. Men and women who have been part of the program want to share it with others. The CR program started in Caraway almost two years ago because of the passion of a few leaders who wanted to provide a support group in their local community and the surrounding area.
The CR program in Caraway will celebrate its second anniversary in May. Leaders of the group for the Caraway meetings trained for several months before the first meeting was held May 7, 2014.
Kent Cullum, one of the organizers, is quick to point out CR is not just for people with drug or alcohol addictions.
"It is for anyone who has hurts, hang ups and habits which includes almost everyone," he said. "Every church could benefit from CR."
The Community of Christ Church in Caraway is very supportive of CR. Meetings are held at the Community of Christ Church every Wednesday starting with a meal at 6 p.m.
The meal is followed by a large group worship service with praise music, guest speakers and testimonies. Following the group worship small group gender meetings are held.
"CR welcomes everyone and those who attend remain anonymous," leader Gary Earnhart said. "Nothing anyone shares is retold. CR is a safe haven for people to come for support and encouragement."
CR is non-denominational but it is Christian based.
"I can't fix anyone but we can support them," Cullum said. "CR is based on the eight principles of the Beatitudes. I challenge anyone to attend a CR meeting at least four times. I guarantee it will improve lives."
Celebrate Recovery meetings are held in many churches in Jonesboro and one in Lake City. The organizers of the Caraway CR had a vision to support people in their area and the surrounding communities who might need a place closer to home. Through its two years, Caraway CR has received encouragement from other CR groups throughout the area.
The volunteers at Caraway agree they have been blessed through the program.
Cullum said from the volunteers who prepare the meals, the leaders of the programs, and everyone who takes a part, the blessings flow.
"No one is here to judge, we are here to support and share," he said. "If everyone knew what I knew every church would have a CR. We have seen lives changed for the better."
Caraway CR averages 20 to 25 in attendance every week. In addition to the Wednesday night meetings, a 12 step program is offered on a different night. It takes about six months to complete the 12 step program.
Caraway CR welcomes anyone who wants to attend and is approved for those who are court mandated to attend classes.
"Our church as a whole made a commitment two years ago to support and open the church doors to CR and it has been successful," leader Janie Qualls said. "One or two people could not do it alone. It takes all of the volunteers."
The Caraway Community of Christ Church is located at 201 North San Francisco Street.
A nursery is provided for children of the parents who attend the Wednesday night meetings.
Statistics show a high percentage of men and women who complete the program go on to be leaders in the CR program.