The outreach minister for the Turlock Church of Christ has taken a pressing issue of Turlock head on by speaking with numerous gateway figures throughout the community including the mayor, the police chief, the fire chief, city manager and many churches to come up with a group that is centered for people or families affected by a loved one facing addiction.
The anonymous new support group, C.O.P.E. is an acronym for Christ-Centered Opportunity for Personal Empowerment and meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Turlock Church of Christ.
“People are able to come to the meetings and talk about it in a confidential, anonymous setting,” said John McCranie, outreach minister and group facilitator. “It’s a place where people are comfortable having the Bible taught and God is a focal point of our strength.”
McCranie is the facilitator of C.O.P.E. and shares 30 years of serving in addiction recovery alongside Kathy Findley, who holds a masters in social work and a similar recovery experience.
They provide a hybrid of a 12-Step and Celebrate Recovery program that allows for families to heal and cope in the process of their loved one recovering or facing addiction issues.
“I try to encourage families to get a support group,” said McCranie. “There are resources and meetings for those addicted, but what about the loved ones of those people whose lives are dramatically impacted? They need support like others in the group and also help understanding what realities the addict is going through.”
He compared the support group to Al-Anon, where friends and family members of alcoholics share their experiences and learn how to apply principles of the program to their individual situations, with a Christian context.
McCranie added that when you counsel the family as a whole, the whole family grows, not just the addicted.
“When loved ones of those addicted get help—whether in recovery or not—they become stronger and assist in facilitating transformation in the person who is trying to recover,” he said.
According to the Hazelden Foundation, one out of every three households is directly affected by addiction.
“That means someone in every third house has someone in the family unit that is addicted, whether they live there or not,” said McCranie. “Addiction has become almost epidemic in America.”
The group does not have boundaries on who can come for support as McCranie adds that some people choose to come to the support group that may be experiencing life controlling issues.
“Some people are stressed out about someone in their life, or just stressed out about other life problems that they’re facing and looking for support,” said McCranie. “People can come and learn to cope with this resource involving a Christian context; it’s a safe haven for people.”
The Turlock Church of Christ is located at 801 N. Tully Rd. For more information, call 632-4593.