Author: kentwhitaker

I'm the Oregon CR Inside Rep, a disciple of Jesus Christ, celebrating recovery from drug/alcohol addiction. Celebrate Recovery (CR) is the best Christian 'how to' program available today, it is a transformative process through the work of the Holy Spirit in us. I am also the NW CRI Team-Lead which covers Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, N&S Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming & N California. CRI is the prison/jail/re-entry aspect of Celebrate Recovery which started in 1991 & today has over 27,000 weekly meetings all around the USA & internationally.

Busy Season SOE Reminder

Happy Fall everyone, today in Tigard it’s really showing all the signs, rain, wind & cooler temps.. but I love the changing seasons so it’s all good.. God is good!

If you’re receiving this email it’s because you’ve already committed to being a part of the SOE program on 10/12 in Cottage Grove, or have been invited to be.

This is a very busy time of year for most, kids in school with school functions, getting our homes ready for the Winter ahead (stuff we’ve put off all Summer right?), & many other important activities. Since the SOE is only a little over a month away, I wanted to remind everyone to focus on your presentations & parts you have committed to, when you have the time now.
Remember to practice your presentation & make sure you stay within the time frame.. this is very important.

Harvey, would you remind your Pastor since I don’t have his email & also send me the contact info for the media person you’ll have at the event?
Let Pastor Jeff know both morning & afternoon worship segments are 15 minutes each, I encourage the worship to be started a few minutes ahead of the beginning of each, but needs to end 15 minutes in.

I’m very excited to be hosted by Calvary Chapel, Harvey & his team are being very generous, let’s make this SOE one to remember! I’ve attached the current agenda, please let me know if you have a question or correction.

Thank you for serving with me in this awesome ministry, to God be all the glory & praise.
In Christ,

Kent Whitaker
CRI NW Region Lead

‘Building a bridge
from the correctional CR
to the community CR.’


July 13th SOE Agenda

See the PDF’s at the bottom of this post for the agenda and flier…

Hope you all had a great 4th of July, we are all ready for another awesome CRI Spirit Of Excellence in Redmond, OR this coming Saturday.Here’s the agenda for this event, also we’ve attached the flyer with the time & location..
Looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Kent Whitaker
CRI NW Region Lead

CRI NW Spirit Of Excellence:
Saturday, 7/13/19
Word Of Victory
645 SE Salmon Avenue
Redmond, OR 97756

Saturday, 10/12/19
Calvary Chapel
1447 N Hwy 99
Cottage Grove, OR 97424

East Coast Summit 7/10-12/19
West Coast Summit 8/7-9/19

CR Training Conference:

Event Registration, Tools & Group Finder:

CR Inside Information & Group Finder:

SOEAgenda 7:13:19.pdf

SOE7-13-19, Redmond, OR.pdf

April Events – SOE in Pasco, WA. HGO Training in Salem.

It was so amazing to see many of you at the Vancouver, WA CRTC on Saturday! There were 1000 of us from 5 states & 130 different churches there, many new groups are planned to start over the next months.

CRI has a Spirit Of Excellence (SOE) in Pasco, WA on April 13th at Faith Tri-Cities & hope you will get the word out at your community CR groups this week. We’ve attached a nice flyer which can be copied & have on your literature tables, see if your Ministry Leader will make an announcement to & let them know we appreciate their support. If you’ve never been to a CRI SOE here’s what to expect.. worship, reports from correctional CR groups, mini-monies, testimonies, teaching about CRI, great fellowship, a free light lunch, more worship, prayer, lots of celebrating our recoveries & awesome connection with others! This is a free event & open to anyone curious about CRI, anyone in a related organization or ministry, newcomers, & of course those of us who are doing it in jails, prisons, & community CR’s all around the NW.

Faith Assembly Christian Center, 1800 N. Road 72, Pasco, WA 99301

The Home For Good In Oregon Mentor Training will be hosted at the Morning Star Community Church in Salem on April 27th. In 2019, all CR leadership is encouraged to take the Home for Good in Oregon training developed by the Oregon Department of Corrections, Religious Services Division. This training is important, to better prepare us to assist a re-entering man or woman coming into our community CR groups. An inmates changed life, started by attending the correctional CR group in a well structured environment, is severely challenged upon their release to an unstructured environment. The reality of life on the ‘outside’ introduces new challenges related to routine activities they have not experienced for some time. This is where our Celebrate Recovery group should shine like a light for them! We’ve attached a flyer for the HGO training, please note the instructions on the flyer.

Kent Whitaker
CRI NW Region Lead

Spirit of Excellence Event – CRI Meeting Feb. 2

Hey Folks, we’re really excited about the Spirit Of Excellence at the Salem First Nazarene this Saturday, Feb 2nd.

Attached you’ll find the agenda for the event & a flyer too.

Remember this is a free event & open to anyone with a interest in CR Inside goings-ons!

Come on out to learn, be inspired, network & praise our Lord for all He does in our broken lives!

Coffee & donuts will be provided at 9:30am & start promptly at 10am with worship from Lost&Found.

Salem First Nazarene
1550 Market St NE
Salem, OR 97301

Kent Whitaker
CRI NW Region Lead

soeagenda 2_2_19 2-2-2019soe flier

CRI Quarterly Calendared for April 2019 in Pasco!

Hey NW CRI Team & CR Leadership,

As some of you know our Quarterly meetings have really started getting great results for this ministry. The NW CRI ministry is bringing CR into many new correctional settings, including some youth facilities, & CRI teams are being formed in more of our community CR groups too! We know that God’s purpose in taking the CR program into the jail & prison is only half way done, connecting the inmate & their family to our community CR group finishes His work. We want to build a bridge from the correctional CR to the community CR!
  1. This next weekend our amazing CRI leaders will be hosted for a Quarterly in Eugene, OR at the Crossfire Church on Saturday, 10/6/18.
  2. Then we’ll be bringing the worship, reports, testimonies & training of this great event to Renton, WA at the Highland Church on Saturday 11/3/18
  3. Next, the Quarterly moves to Salem, OR at the Nazarene Church on Saturday 2/2/19.
  4. And we just confirmed today, we’ll have our first Quarterly in eastern Washington on 4/13/19 at Faith Assembly Christian Center in Pasco, WA!
Please keep all of these dates in your thoughts & prayers. We will be needing help organizing each event as we close in on the date, but starting today make a commitment to helping promote each Quarterly & if possible, include yourself in making one or more a success.
In Christ & together we are providing a real hope for many.

CRI Quarterly In Eugene, OR October 6th

Hey Everyone, looking forward to seeing many of you this Saturday, 10am at the Crossfire Church, 1310 Echo Hollow Rd.

Here’s what to expect & remember this event is open to newcomers or anyone interested in learning about this exciting ministry!
The Quarterly is FREE, includes coffee & donuts, a light lunch & lots of good fellowship.
Please announce the CRI Quarterly at your CR large group this week..

Here is a copy of the Agenda: Oregon CRI 10-6-18 Quarterly

CRI Redmond Round-Up Follow-Up

On Saturday, 11/14/15, a great group of men & women met at the Redmond Assembly of God Church to discuss the various aspects of the CR Inside (CRI) ministry. CRI today has 3 main focuses, none of which is more important than the other, but each having their own significant place in the outreach into the ‘criminally identified’ community. (1) CRI is focused on bringing the CR program into the city/county jails, where we can reach many during their short time stay. (2) CRI is focused on bringing the CR program into the state/federal prisons, where a more long term involvement can be had including step studies. (3) CRI is focused on bringing the jail or prison inmate & their family into our community CR’s once they are released from their incarceration, and in preparing those at the community CR members to better serve the re-entering man or woman as accountability partners & mentors.

The exciting news coming away from the meeting: we now have several who are interested in beginning the effort to start up a CR at the Deschutes County Jail! For the women the contact person is Chandra Bily, 503-686-3362, if you have an interest in knowing more about this team please give her a call. For the men’s team the contact person is Paul Webb, (541) 735-5697 or, Kent Whitaker, 503-789-3756. I’ll be traveling back over to Bend in the next couple of weeks to meet with the deputies overseeing the volunteer programs at the jail. My goal is to find out what their requirements are, answer their questions on what to expect from the CR program & volunteers, & get their approval for us bringing both a men’s & women’s CR team inside once a week. Until I meet with the jail administration & get the go-ahead, we won’t know the available time slots, but so that we’re ready with qualified volunteers we’re starting to form the teams now. From the CRI side we require that a volunteer is a regular attendee of a community CR & has their Ministry Leaders approval to serve in this way. Also, the volunteer must have a minimum of one years continuous sobriety in their area of recovery & have either completed or are currently in a step study. Each volunteer must agree to the CRI Program Proposal & Commitment in writing as well.

Additionally, Scott Patterson, Ministry Leader for the DRCI CR & HGO Regional Chaplain, covered all of the great things he is involved with locally assisting the re-entering man or woman. He urged those interested to contact him for visiting the DRCI CR & if possible sharing their testimony. He also is very interested in putting a group together interested in having a HGO Mentor Training session; HGO stands for the ODOC’s Home for Good in Oregon re-entry program which pairs up interested inmates with a certified mentor in the community of their release. We are very interested in having many CR members take this training, it prepares those in the community CR’s for properly assisting formerly incarcerated individuals up to & including mentoring them. Contact Scott directly for either of these great opportunities to serve, 541-848-8419.

I love Central Oregon, the air is clean & the CR groups are passionate about recovery through Jesus Christ, the One & Only Higher Power!

Kent Whitaker, Oregon CRI Rep, NW CRI Team-Lead


Finishing 2014 Strong.. ‘When I am weak, then I am strong.’

As the winter begins in earnest here in the Pacific Northwest, CR Inside is ‘warming itself’ with the appointment of Adam Rodriguez as the new National Director. Adam is identified as our ‘interim’ director until he’s officially named after the first of the year. When Hector Lozano stepped down last May, David Jones was named, but just as the weather changes these days, his appointment was pulled back in October. Like a ship without a rudder, nationally CRI has been wandering; several key leaders have jumped ship including our own Larry Courtain, stepping down as Oregon’s Mid-Valley rep in early November. Larry’s departure was due to his increasing responsibilities as an associate pastor at Morning Star, but none the less, many times when things seem to be in disarray, unnerving events multiply & cause increasing concern. Larry had provided for me personally, as well as for our Oregon team generally, a real key partner & advocate for our mission. Larry, & a few other CRI warriors, had started up the CR program in Mill Creek CI & OSP, & under Larry’s leadership Morning Star Church had opened its doors & supported CRI in many ways, including hosting several Quarterly meetings. Leaving our Mid-Valley post without local leadership was very troubling, as there are 4 prisons & 2 large jail populations in the greater Salem/Albany area. Many times, what I determine to be set-backs, negative events which will have negative consequences, however I’ve grown to understand that God is always working behind the scenes, in fact, He’s going out in front to set-up what needs to be done for His plans to unfold according to His will! It’s always so amazing to watch God as He’s building CRI in Oregon & now SW Washington too! And, if it’s true for us here in the rainy Pacific NW, it’s true for CRI nationally too. Adam’s taking over the reins at this point is a huge step forward, I have faith that he’ll make a very capable leader, taking CRI to the next levels of achievement & organization.

In fact, today Adam named Nicole Davis as Washington’s newest CRI rep, Nicole’s appointment brings with it more ‘warmth’ as the outside temperatures drop & the wind whips rain down on us. Yes, God’s game-plan is coming more clear every day & as we accept our weakness, His strength upholds us, carries us to higher levels, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2Cr12:9-10

We’ve been notified in the last few days that on January 8th our CR program will be launching inside the FDC at Sheridan! This is a process that was started back in June when Steve Hardgrove & myself met with Chaplain Kowalczyk, then months of searching to find a qualified team of CR volunteers. Matt Eggert, ML at COTH CR in McMinnville, was extremely supportive & helpful in finally putting this team together when we had almost lost hope. God is good.. as He provided what we needed when we needed it.

And lastly, but far from least, is the strength God allowed in us when we accepted our weakness & turned totally to Him in prayer for Scott Patterson being approved to lead CR inside Deer Ridge CI in Madras. Scott’s chances were not good, no.. non-existent. I had thought, when Scott explained his background to me, ‘this isn’t going to happen unless God intervenes’.. & that’s exactly what He did! Chaplain Woods at DRCI advocated for Scott & CR all the way to his superintendent & Scott was approved to serve at DRCI! We are humbled by our Lord’s care, comfort & strength in this matter; thank you Scott & Chaplain Tim Woods for following Christ, trusting in Him to prevail.

When we look to our Lord rather than ourselves, when no matter how how discouraging circumstances are we accept our inability to overcome them by ourselves, & when we trust in God for the outcomes of our efforts, accepting whatever they are, He delivers in His time, every time. Please take a few minutes every day to pray for us to trust God for our success as an individual & as a team this coming year. Pray that we will not be discouraged or distracted by people or events around us which seem to be evidence of failure but that we remember that God Himself has the final say in all. Pray that we remain true to the work Jesus Christ has called us to in this CR Inside ministry & find our strength solely in Him. 2015 is going to be an amazing year of growth for CRI here in the great NW.

By the way, that vacancy at Mid-Valley rep, stay tuned because God has raised up a terrific fix for us & we’ll be hearing some great news in January on what exactly it is!
Kent Whitaker, CRI Senior Rep, Oregon