Celebrate Recovery looking for volunteers

Published 4:38 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Those looking to help others through a difficult time have an opportunity through Celebrate Recovery.

The group meets weekly at First United Methodist Church in Clanton for lessons and discussion groups as individuals work through “hurts, habits and hang-ups” in their lives.

Volunteers are vital for the group, and right now a need exists for female group leaders.

Lawrence Bamberg, who has been a leader in the group since 2015, said a main leader and a backup are usually in place for each of the small groups that meet.

“Two of our main leaders in our women’s program both got new jobs and have moved away from the Clanton area,” Bamberg said.

Celebrate Recovery goes beyond just offering assistance for those struggling with substance abuse to help anyone who is struggling, whether it be another type of addiction, relationship issues (including codependency), overeating, etc. The program revolves around steps to overcoming issues.

Everyone attends the opening large group meeting, which includes music and a lesson or special speaker for an hour. Then attendees go to small groups with separate groups for men and women and specific groups for similar struggles.

Potential leaders are interviewed by program leadership.

“We look for someone with a committed relationship with Christ,” Bamberg said. “… We would like to see them active in their own church, whether it is our church or any other church … and that they have (the) desire to serve.”

Before leading a group, potential leaders would go through the program and receive training on leading a small group.

“We are looking for not someone to fill a hole, but to step up and become a leader,” Bamberg said. “It’s a commitment. To be a leader of Celebrate Recovery is a real commitment. The step study itself is about 26 weeks.”

In addition to the weekly meetings, leaders attend training once a month and planning meetings as necessary.

“It is a great program,” Bamberg said. “We have had a lot of success in Clanton.”

Small group leaders lead discussion of the Celebrate Recovery lesson or the guest speaker for the night. Bamberg said there can also be general discussion.

“Every individual is free to share,” he said. “It is an anonymous group.”

Confidentially is also stressed for small group discussion.

Anyone interested in being a leader in the program can contact Bamberg at 205-288-6208.

While the main need currently is for small group leaders, there are various other ways volunteers keep the program going.

“We have volunteers in the kitchen,” Bamberg said. “We have volunteers that greet in the front as they come in (and) answer questions.”

Volunteers also play music for the opening large group meeting.