SUNBURY — Christ Wesleyan Church (CWC) offers a new resource for people seeking or maintaining recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.

The Recovery Church, a ministry of CWC, hosts its first independent service at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 6 at 238 Walnut St., Sunbury.

It will be coupled later this fall by an on-site resource center. Pastor Billy Robel envisions that it will offer guidance from certified recovery specialists and assistance finding inpatient and outpatient treatment.

The resource center also will connect people with organizations for wrap around services addressing housing and employment, for example. Those organizations include Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Northumberland County Drug and Alcohol and the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way.

Together, the church and resource center create a Recovery Campus both for people with substance abuse and the loved ones in their lives.

“This area is lost. I have buried so many friends and so many people. Not one more person has to die,” Robel said.

Part of the mission of the Recovery Church will be to help people find an understanding of who they are. Robel hopes they will be open to believing in something bigger than themselves, whether that’s through God or something else.

Support groups planned at the Recovery Campus include Families Victorious specific for families of those with substance abuse. A separate group, which may include relatives, too, will address behaviors enabling addiction.

It’s crucial to work within the entire family unit in order to optimize recovery, Robel said, particularly for those under treatment but whose family is unhealthy.

“They come home to this totally unhealthy environment and they relapse. I see it all the time,” Robel said. “We work to see if we can get the family to realize that recovery happens as a whole.”

Perry Meadows of the Northumberland County Opioid Coalition, another group working with the Recovery Campus, said a structured support group for families will be invaluable. He wished such a resource were available 20 years ago as his own family was enveloped by the stressors of a loved one’s addiction.

Meadows said he still carries blame for attempting to hide his family’s own struggles years ago. At the Recovery Campus, he said there is no stigma or bias.

“We were by ourselves. We knew nothing,” said Meadows who with his wife and daughter, Angie and Sarah, wrote a book about their shared experience: “An Enabler’s Journey: A Christian Perspective.”

“Because of stigma we didn’t want to talk about it,” he said.

Robert K. Reed, executive deputy attorney general for special initiatives, gave a presentation at the Sunbury church Tuesday about addiction trauma. It’s an example of the types of programming Recovery Church will pursue.

“To have a safe place like this to come together, and to do it in a new and creative way, is going to make a massive difference in people’s lives,” Reed said after the program.

Meadows reinforced how social agencies, local law enforcement and community nonprofits are aligned in their support of the Recovery Campus initiative.

“A program like this, we can get people into treatment,” Meadows said.

For more information about Recovery Church and CWC, visit or contact Robel directly at Inquire by email about arranging rides to and from Recovery Campus.

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