Locals struggling with recovery from “life’s hurts, habits, or hang-ups” are invited to join a group meant to support and help them at Westside Baptist Church.

Celebrate Recovery is a program that looks like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Some of the methods appear very similar. The difference is that Celebrate Recovery is a bit more than a nod to Christianity or a Higher Power.

The program is based on 12 steps and 8 principles. These principles are Biblically based. The program is setup into a large group setting as other similar programs like NA or AA but they add a small group setting to the mix.

One difference between Celebrate Recovery and AA or NA is that there is no limit to why you are there. You don’t necessarily have to have a substance abuse problem. It is setup to work through any hangups, hurts, addictions and compulsive behaviors. All are welcome and there is no need to belong to a church of any kind.

The large group setting works much like an AA or NA meeting as far as how they operate. There is no “cross talk”. You go and share and put it out there. There is no commentary on what you say. The point is to be in a large group with people going through similar things, without judgement. At the beginning of the meeting everyone meets together and then the larger group breaks into a men’s and a woman’s group. Each person gets to share their experience and by sitting and listening you take what you need from what you hear.

As in other programs, what you say there stays there. The conversations are guided by lessons that follow the 12 steps and 8 principles. As you move through the program, you chose someone that can keep you accountable as you work through the steps and principles.

The small groups allow for comfort of a smaller group to talk in front of and more time. The small groups are meant to dig into each step and principle.

Upon starting the program, you are given a small paperback book that is an overview of the program. These are participant guides that are used throughout the process and have lessons written out. At the end of each lesson there are questions to allow you time for reflection. The questions are the roadmap for the flow of conversation in the larger and smaller groups. These are available for purchase.

Celebrate Recovery is participant led. As you work through the steps, the thought is that you get involved to help run it. This allows the program to continue so that it is there for others to go through.

Local meetings are held at Westside Baptist Church from 6:30 to 8:30pm. Small groups are available for signup at the Thursday meeting and the times and locations may vary.