By Blythe Alspaugh, Piqua Daily News, August 8, 2021 – As the Piqua Compassion Network continues to grow, one of its programs has found a new home with the Piqua Christian Church.
“We were needing more space for our groups, more parking, and we really needed a facility where we could do more of the outdoor gatherings, have fellowship, and this afforded us more room to be able to do that,” Rebecca Sousek, executive director for the Piqua Compassion Network, said.
Celebrate Recovery Piqua, a program within the Piqua Compassion Network, is a Christ-centered 12-step recovery program that helps people overcome pains, struggles and persistent problems with things such as alcoholism, depression, anxiety, drug addiction, grief, sexual addiction, trauma, co-dependency, sexual abuse, food addiction and compulsive behaviors. The program began January 11, 2018, and has grown to the point, Sousek said, that it needed a new location in order to continue to serve people in recovery in the Miami County community and beyond. Piqua Christian Church has partnered with the Piqua Compassion Network for the last decade, and as of June, has offered their facilities to the program.
“From a pastor standpoint, my favorite thing about Celebrate Recovery is that everyone who walks through that door isn’t wearing a mask. They know they’re broken and they know they need help, and they’re not embarrassed about it. It’s a really authentic, powerful experience,” Jeff Ratliff, executive pastor at Piqua Christian Church, said. “When people can come and get out from under the burden of shame, they have the opportunity to grow into people who lead others to that same place, and we have our eye on that always. The people that come and benefit from the Celebrate Recovery community can go out to their community and bring that same hope, that same atmosphere of being open and honest and allowing other people the opportunity to get real and see change in their lives,” Jerilyn Lowe, lead facilitator for Piqua Compassion Network, said. According to Sousek, the program has helped hundreds of people through recovery and continues that mission today. With the move to the Piqua Christian Church, the program is able to offer the same services as before, as well as a little extra. There is space for those seeking recovery to meet in large groups, and space for smaller, specialized groups to break off and discuss topics specific to a type of addiction or trauma, while still having the sense of privacy that recovery groups provide. Sousek echoed that the new space allows the program to maintain its family atmosphere and safe space status as it continues to grow. “We are a Celebrate Recovery family – we help each other, much like the model in our own families. Many of the folks we’ve seen have been alienated from their families, and they don’t have anybody but us. Building that trust and having that safe place to come is really a hallmark of our program,” Sousek said. Of the many positives that have come with moving to the Piqua Christian Church is that the Celebrate Recovery program is able to hold larger events, the first of which is a freedom ride beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Agu. 12. The ride will start at Bears Mill in Greenville and go to Piqua Christian Church in Piqua, Harvest Baptist Church in Wapakoneta, United Methodist Church in St. Marys, and end with the final stop at True Life Church in Greenville. Cost to participate is free, with donations accepted at select locations. “We’re just delighted about having this ability to grow even further. This has just proven to be an excellent facility to work with,” Sousek said.
Celebrate Recovery Piqua holds meetings from 6:45 to 9 p.m. every Thursday at Piqua Christian Church, 3969 W. State Route 185, Piqua. The Piqua Compassion Network is located at 531 W. Ash St., Piqua.