Glastonbury church reaches out to addicts

Creative Commons photoGLASTONBURY — Glastonbury Baptist Church is dedicated to helping people overcome dependencies.

On Friday the 3-year-old church will launch a chapter of Reformers Unanimous, an international bible-based addiction recovery program.

“The purpose of our ministry is to help people who can’t get their lives together,” said Chaplain Director Dennis Gervais.

He said the program is intended not only to help drug addicts, but alcoholics, compulsive gamblers and those who are enslaved to other habits as well.

 “We don’t turn anyone away and hopefully throughout the program people will get lead to Christ,” he said.

Reformers Unanimous began in 1996 in Illinois. Today there are 680 chapters worldwide.

The church has posted fliers to let the people know about the program, and Gervais said some have already shown interest and several people from the congregation have committed to volunteering.

 “This is for the community to grow together as a whole, whoever needs a place to go Friday night so they don’t have to go to a bar and get drunk, or go give into their addiction, whatever that addiction is, we’re there for them, there to show that we care and that we love them,” he said.

For now the program targets those in the Glastonbury and East Hartford communities but Mel Sharp, pastor of Glastonbury Baptist, said he envisions the program expanding in the future. The church has a van that will be able to give people rides to the Friday meetings.

Sharp said he has a heart for people with addictions, noting that he’s seen its effects in his own family.

“I’ve seen the devastation it causes and also know that with the right steps people can put their lives back together and restore relationships,” he said. “This faith based program focuses on developing good spiritual characteristics – love, joy, peace, faith, goodness.”

He said it also provides an accountability and support system to help addicts in their “moments of weakness.”

The weekly meetings are free and conclude with refreshments and fellowship, Sharp said.

The meetings are at 7 p.m. Call  (860) 977-7746 for directions, as the meeting location may change.

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