Kansas church offers new self-care groups

Dodge City, Kansas

They say half the battle of success is showing up to the meeting.

September marked the start of four new care groups at the Dodge City Church of the Nazarene, designed to serve people who need their spirits lifted.

Addicts and alcoholics in recovery, depression and anxiety sufferers, people living with grief, and those enduring a divorce or separation from their spouse are the targeted audiences, but Director of Recovery Ministries Kat Juel said anyone is invited to attend the weekly meetings.

“A lot of people think they shouldn’t be depressed or have anxiety and just because they are Christians that if they come to church that God will make it go away, but that’s not necessarily the case,” Juel said. “We need to support and help each other and end that stigma. People need to know they are not alone.”

Juel said she was asked to design the recovery care group because of her experience overcoming drug addiction nearly five years ago. The church had enough faith in her ability that its leaders awarded her a local minister’s license this July. It was then, too, that she accepted their invitation to direct the recovery ministry.

She said her former perspective helped her better form the program for those people the church wants it to reach.

“I thought about the God I needed then, rather than the God I know now,” she said. “We want to meet you where you are spiritually.”

She described the group as “a recovery-based Bible study” that differs from 12-step programs in that it has no steps so “you can pick up anywhere.”

“It is just a place to learn about a God that is madly in love with you and develop a relationship with him,” she said.

Juel leads The Healing Hope care group for people in recovery at 6:30 p.m. every Monday.

The Divorce care group meets at 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday. It includes 13 weekly sessions and a $15 workbook.

“You will learn how to heal from the deep hurt of divorce and discover hope for your future,” according to the church’s website. It is led by Bruce Giessel and Tammie West.

The Hope Share care group for people dealing with depression and anxiety meets at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday and is led by Kandi Conant and Howard Spencer.

The Grief Share care group meets at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday and provides “a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences,” according to the website. “You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.” It is led by Geni Stanley and pastor Mark West. It, too, includes 13 weekly sessions and a $15 workbook.

Juel said attendees of the Grief Share and Divorce care groups can start anytime during the 13 sessions.

--Republished with permission from Dodge City Daily Globe

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