CR Inside Newsletter

The blog for CR Inside. Much talk about all things CR Inside...

Celebrate Recovery Inside Home Run

Celebrate Recovery is prominently featured in the feature film Home Run.

"We have to break the cycle"
Burl Cain, Warden, Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, LA speaks on Celebrate Recovery® and how CR is changing the lives of those on the inside as witnessed through the message of Cory Brandt's life in Home Run the Movie. Check out how you can host a viewing of Home Run the Movie in your facility by clicking here.

Greetings from We Care Inc.

Written by Christine Sumner/The Clarion, Re-printed with permission

I had the sweetest note today that I have ever gotten from a long time friend I met at the jail many years ago when we were both much younger. When I began taking Celebrate Recovery Inside to the jail last October I met her again. “What are you doing here again,” I asked her jokingly. She just sighed and made an “I don’t know” gesture.

Over the months following, I began to see a difference taking place and as the months went by, I knew this young woman had changed. I was so glad when the kind judge gave her one more chance after many others.

She has been clean and sober ever since. This young woman is a totally different person than the one I met in that jail over ten years ago. Jesus made the difference. Listen to this:

“I love you so very much. Thank you for coming to that jail and teaching the word of God. You let me know there was hope.”

I cannot tell you what this does for me. I feel sorry for anyone that has not felt the Spirit of God working in their heart when something like this occurs in their life. This is our purpose in life; go out and tell others about His forgiveness and the saving grace He offers to all who seek him. Going to church is wonderful but actually doing God’s work is beyond measure.


First East Coast Summit opens doors for new groups

Bobby Pepper

Jenna Shetter came to the Celebrate Recovery East Coast Summit seeking guidance and information on how to launch CR Inside at Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Fla.

She wasn't disappointed. After returning home with what she learned at Summit, Shetter saw many opportunities open up as she began taking the steps toward going "inside."

"It was a great experience witnessing the power of God (at Summit). I love to watch him show off," said Shetter, who attended Summit with her CR group from First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks in Largo, Fla.  "I gained so much knowledge and he placed people in my path to help me accomplish my calling to take CRI into the jail on 49th Street in Pinellas County. I now have four CRs in the area behind me with at least one volunteer from each."

Shetter was among 2,000-plus participants who attended the first ECS on July 10-12 in Spartanburg, S.C. For the attendees interested in CR Inside, there were six sessions where they could meet and learn from National Director Hector Lozano, state representatives and others already inside or considering it.

"Two CR summits opens the door for more CR Inside groups by providing a means to help more CR groups get introduced and established at more facilities throughout the U.S.," Lozano said. "My impression of the first ECS is that there is not only a great deal of interest, but a great deal of activity inside jail/prison facilities. Many of the questions related to how to improve on the CR curriculum delivery as much as how to start a CR 'inside'."

The first day of Summit at Restoration Church featured Inside connection gatherings for anyone interested in one of three areas: jails, prisons and re-entry programs. Lozano was excited to see the large turnout for the connection events.

"State reps did an awesome job at facilitating connections," he said. "I am so proud of our Eastern state reps who demonstrated their unique qualities and character for service. Of course, the feedback from the connection participants told the whole story."


Greetings to you from FCI Waseca

For those of you who have never heard of FCI Waseca – we are a Federal Correctional Institution for female offenders located in rural Minnesota.

Our Celebrate Recovery has been active “inside” Waseca since 2010. It all started with one of us seeing a book with the word “Celebrate” on it and asking “what is that all about?” From that moment on, the seed was planted and 3 years later we are strong and getting stronger.

On July 23rd, 2013 we had another graduation ceremony and our second so far this year. For this ceremony we witnessed 60 women completing the step groups. This has been amazing journey for us all! Being a part of the transformation as we work the steps and begin to face the hurts, habits, and hang-ups we’ve been ignoring for so many years is true freedom. To open the celebration we were blessed to have the warden as the main speaker! She encouraged the women “to always remember this day and how far you have come!” Also in attendance we were fortunate to have some of our outside Celebrate Recovery TEAM. Jackie prepared our hearts by leading us in worship with Dale and Craig praying over us all. We then heard from four inmates who shared their story and how a Christ centered recovery is helping lead them from drug addiction, anger, self doubt, lack of forgiveness, broken families, and prior suicide attempts. This was amazing for everyone to experience.

Our Waseca Praise and Dance team took another step out of their comfort zone and sang an a cappella solo with dance. Together they modeled what a transformed life looks like and they received a standing ovation. We closed our ceremony with a presentation of certificates. For many women in the beginning the goal may have been to get the certificate. Now after completing the steps we know that the real celebration is a transformed life. As we received our certificate each one of us was able to stand tall and proud, knowing that our heavenly father loves them and is well pleased. The ceremony closed with more worship songs, fellowship, and cupcakes!

Thank you Celebrate Recovery

CR Inside Eastern Canada Rep Says Hello

Living my life scripture one day at a time with Jesus has been and still is an incredible journey….. Hebrews 13:3 “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoner and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

I have been in and out of prison since 1989, visiting two younger brothers and my youngest son. I have personally seen results of volunteers in my families’ lives and now since January 2009 I have had the privilege of being one of a team taking C.R. inside Grand Valley Federal Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ontario. In September 2011, I had the joy of taking the journey further and became the Eastern Canadian Rep. Not feeling worthy and worried that I had big shoes to fill I am reminded daily that I am not alone and again one day at a time with Jesus I am in awe of what God is preparing us to do and pray His continual support as we move from one stepping stone to the next…….

Breaking the chains of incarceration, one transformed life at a time.

As mentioned before we the team have been in GVI since Jan 2009 and many women have gone through step studies and are now co-facilitating. We started a team in Vanier Center for women provincial jail in October 2011 and offering the program Life’s Healing choices to the bail, remand, trial and short term unit. We have now been asked to go into the sentence unit to provide Step Study. We will be starting this on June 7th of this year. ANSWERED PRAYER Thank you Jesus!

Life’s Healing Choices is in Hamilton Wentworth Detention Center, Hamilton Ontario on the men’s side and in Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre in the City of London, Ontario on the men side. Six weeks ago a Team of women started to take it to the women’s side of the same Detention Centre. And Nova Institution Federal prison for women in Truro, Nova Scotia has been running Life’s Healing Choices for a couple of years. As we write these words there is a team meeting with the Chaplain at Ottawa Correctional Detention Centre to take Life’s Healing Choices inside and we rec’d a call from the volunteer co-ordinator at Maplehurst Detention Centre Milton, Ontario “We want Celebrate Recovery” And we have 4 men ready to go in.

As a result of our Church (Yeschurch, Brantford, Ontario) having a CR Sunday just this past month I rec’d a request from a lawyer that was there and has shared the program with a client in the Brantford Jail and she has asked me to contact the Chaplain and counselor and use her name to send literature or a person into her client. We have heard from this Chaplain and we are getting ready to take Life’s Healing Choices to the Brantford, Ontario jail in July and August.


Volunteer jail chaplain’s ‘last career’ is his most important

By JOSHUA ROBERT / Laramie Boomerang (re-posted with permission)

The 29-year-old man has a shaved head, tattoos up and down both arms and standard issue black-and-whites.He speaks softly into the telephone, from behind a glass partition, inside a small room of metal and concrete.The inmate covers plenty of topics in the few minutes left of the allotted visit: his 7-year-old daughter, the drug and assault convictions and life on the wrong side of the glass.

“This place,” he says of Albany County Jail, “it sucks. There are, nonetheless, reasons to be thankful, reasons to hope.He says he’s committed to sobriety.He accepts responsibility for his choices and the consequences. And, he has someone in his corner.

He is definitely a blessing, not just to me, but to other people,” the inmate says of volunteer jail chaplain Rich Henderson. “He’s made my life a little better today.”

Henderson knows the inmate through visits during prior jail stints, and on the outside as part of Celebrate Recovery, a weekly, faith-based program to overcome “hurts, habits and hang-ups.”

On this Thursday afternoon, inmate and chaplain talk philosophy, faith and the future.

“Your relationship with God is what’s important,” Henderson says into the telephone, in response to a question about denominations. “Tags aren’t what’s important.”

Henderson taps on a book, “Free on the Inside,” a Bible written at an elementary school level that simplifies concepts for readers.

The book is his constant companion on jail visits.

Henderson seeks out chapters and verses, flipping through and finding pages, encouraging the inmate with words and messages and parables.

The chaplain mentions the book’s testimonials, short passages written by inmates.“

They will help inspire you,” Henderson says. “These are people who have been where you’re at now.”