People gather to "Celebrate Recovery" at Poinciana United Methodist

    For many people, long work weeks are followed by Friday night celebrating. Well, every Friday night for the past 10 years people from all walks of life have been gathering to celebrate. To celebrate recovery, right here in Miami Springs.

    Celebrate Recovery is a program that has been meeting on Friday evenings at Poinciana United Methodist Church since 2003. It’s a biblical and balanced program that helps people overcome hurts, hang-ups and habits. The group welcomes new people every Friday and many regulars return week after week for a great dose of love, encouragement, hope, and even accountability. 

    Twenty years ago, Pastor Rick Warren, author of “Purpose Driven Life,” launched Celebrate Recovery at Saddleback Church in California with just 43 people. Celebrate Recovery is now in over 19,000 churches worldwide.

    “Miracles are a part of the Celebrate Recovery story. We see miracles happen all the time,” said Pastor Gordon Pike of Poinciana United Methodist Church. “We see people who quit drinking, who give up drugs, who stop gambling, who disconnect from the Internet, who forgive their abusers, and people who are no longer victims but survivors.”

    Pastor Pike has a heart and passion for this ministry and makes it clear that although the host site is at Poinciana Methodist, it is open to all. No matter which church you attend or don’t attend, everyone is welcome.

    “Maybe you have a habit, a hurt, or a hang-up that is destroying your life,” Pike.  says. “Maybe you are lost and need some guidance. Maybe you just want to know about Jesus. Come and be a part of our celebration.”

    Is Celebrate Recovery for you? Celebrate Recovery offers people the opportunity to participate in a group fellowship where love and hope are combined with seeking God’s purpose to our lives. Ask yourself:

    • Are there things in my life that I do that hurt others?

    • Is there something I wish I could live without?

    • Is it time to crack my denial and admit I am not in control of my life?

    • Do I have a painful habit or hang-up from which I need to be freed? 

    If you answered “yes” to any of these statements, then you might want to attend a Celebrate Recovery meeting to see if it is for you.  

    Every meeting maintains a strict confidentiality so that the atmosphere promotes trust, which in turn facilitates growth. The Friday night meeting begins with dinner, followed by a short service in the sanctuary. During the last part of the evening the group splits into a men’s group and women’s group.

    A wide variety of hurts, hang-ups and harmful behaviors are represented at Celebrate Recovery. Examples include dependency on alcohol or drugs, pornography, low self-esteem, need to control, depression, anger, co-dependency, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, perfectionism, broken relationships, and abuse. 

    On a recent Friday evening, Rose Horton, 70, also known as L.A. Rose, shared her story with the group. Horton’s nickname, L.A. Rose, originated back in 1985 when she became sober in the city of Los Angeles. Since her sobriety 28 years ago, Horton has shared her testimony many times. She retired from United Airlines in 2000 and now focuses full time on helping others overcome their struggles.

    “It’s a disease, and it goes from generation to generation,” Horton said. “If I don't tell anyone, then I can’t help anyone. We can be the change. We can stop it here.

    “Celebrate is a safe place, a place of belonging. We care for each other and we respect each other. It’s a place to learn, to grow, and to become strong. It’s a safe place to take off your mask and be yourself.”

    It does not cost anything to attend Celebrate. To get started you just show up. Although everyone struggles with different issues, everyone is on the same road. You can expect a loving and welcoming environment.

    “Jesus was in the recovery business,” said Pastor Pike. “We celebrate the One who heals us, restores us, and recovers us.  He celebrates our recovery and we celebrate Him who recovered us.”

    Celebrate Recovery meets every Friday evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Poinciana United Methodist Church, 300 N. Royal Poinciana Blvd. For more information, you can call the church office at (305) 888-0641 or you can call Pastor Pike directly at (305) 989-7618.