Our church is excited to host its first GriefShare class, and we are only three weeks into a 13-week session, so there’s still plenty of time to join. And while many may have heard of GriefShare, some may not be familiar with the organization behind the class. GriefShare is one of the several support groups offered by the ministry Church Initiative which is based out of Wake Forest, North Carolina. While this ministry now serves churches world-wide, it started with the burden of couple Steve and Cheryl Grissom, to equip local churches to offer support groups that minister to those who are hurting from various life disruptions. From that burden, GriefShare was born along with other classes such as DivorceCare, DivorceCare for Kids and Single & Parenting.
Our first GriefShare group is being led by Steve and Donna Sinclair and assisted by Ed and Yvonne Wilson. When I asked the Sinclairs how they got involved with GriefShare, they said they had heard about it over the past several years as their best friends facilitate the program at their church. They also heard about it when Nancy Guthrie spoke at our women’s conference in 2015 as she and her husband are the cohosts of the GriefShare videos. After that, they began to explore the class more. “When the pastoral team approached us and asked if we were interested in leading the course at our church, we felt lead to look into it. After watching the 13 videos and using the workbook, we felt that GriefShare helped us, and we were anxious to use it to help others. After much prayer, we believed that this is what God was leading us to do. It has been very helpful to us again even as leaders.”
In terms of the ins and outs of what actually goes on during the class, the Sinclairs brought a lot of clarity my questions. “The typical format of a GriefShare class starts with a warm welcome. Then we watch a video that that runs from 35 to 45 minutes with experts giving advice on how to deal with the different aspects of grief. The next part is the group discussion where we share how what we have just heard can help us through our grief. The last part of is done with the workbook at home. There are daily exercises likened to a devotional that we strongly recommend. So, the three sections of the typical GriefShare class are video, discussion and workbook.”
Of course, the whole purpose of all the videos, discussions and exercises is to aid in the healing process of loss, and the Sinclairs have a lot of hope that the class will do just that. “Talking about your loss with others going through the same thing is helpful. Being in an environment with others where tears are common place and accepted by all is comforting, just to know you are not alone. Listening to the experts on the video and practicing their advice is an effective way to work through grief. GriefShare offers comfort, answers and hope.”
If you know someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, they are welcome to sign up and participate in the last ten weeks of class.