Celebrate Recovery marks one-year anniversary with special event

David Peck


A faith-based recovery program in Cowley that is able to help people in myriad ways is hosting a special event this Saturday to mark the program’s one-year anniversary.

Celebrate Recovery will host the celebration Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. on the lawn in front of the soon-to-be-open Water of Life Church building on South Third Street East in Cowley, just past Rocky Mountain High School coming into town from Lovell.

According to counselor Paul Roland, who has 22 years of counseling experience, Celebrate Recovery is a multi-faceted program developed by Pastor Rick Warren and the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California.

The program can help people dealing with not just addictions, like drug and alcohol addiction, but also other issues like grief, anger, marriage issues, co-dependency, depression and more, what Roland calls “hurts, habits and hang-ups.”

It not only uses a traditional 12-step program but also eight principles based on the Beatitudes.

“It’s 12 steps and Jesus, too,” he said. “It works great.”

Roland and his wife, Leri, who assists with the program, know about recovery. Paul has been in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction for 35 years, Leri from methamphetamine and alcohol addiction for 28 years.

“I used a 12-step program and worked in drug and alcohol programs for 22 years, but I got God in my life and was introduced to CR,” Roland said. “I had gotten to a plateau and found something missing. I found God and CR.”

The Cowley Celebrate Recovery program meets every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the youth building next to the Water of Life Church and includes a meal. The program will move to the church building itself, which will open soon, Roland said.  He said the Cowley CR program is for folks 18 years old and up, with no childcare provided.

“We’re running it, and Pastor (Johannes) Slabbert supports us. He says, “Go for it,’” Roland said. “We also have our foot in the door with the Big Horn County Drug Court and some Park County programs. We’re putting the word out.

“We have a good core group. We’re trying to build it and be better known in the community.”

Everyone is invited to attend the barbecue Saturday, which will include chips, dessert and a drink. Information on CR will be available.

“It’s casual,” Roland said. “There’s no program or anything like that.”

“It’s an opportunity to learn about CR,” Leri added. “It’s not only our celebration, but we want to get the word out there to family and friends.”