By John Montgomery
Over the past 12 years, the Xenos Grief ministry has grown and expanded, offering various workshops and support groups to help those in grief.
Beginning January 8th, 2020, the Grief Ministry will offer a workshop called “Navigating your Grief” at the 4th Street Pavilion, from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. This is a 10-week workshop designed to encourage, educate, and equip individuals who are grieving the death of a loved one. It utilizes select GriefShare videos as well as group discussion to help individuals at all stages of grief understand their grief experience and obtain the tools to move through it.
The workshop presents a Biblical perspective on grief, suffering, and trust in God. It also offers comfort and support to those grieving as well as practical suggestions through interviews with counselors, grief experts, and others who have experienced the pain of losing a loved one. You can register at xenos.org/classes.
While grief is normal and natural, and one of the most powerful of all emotions, it is probably one of the most neglected and misunderstood experiences, often by both grievers and those around them.
One misunderstanding is that there is that grieving and mourning are the same thing. While many people use the words "grieving" and "mourning" interchangeably, there is an important distinction. Grief is the many internal thoughts and feelings we experience when a loved one dies; mourning is the outward expression of our grief.
When we refuse to mourn, we are at odds with our body’s built-in physiological processes to deal with a traumatic event. We are at odds with God’s spiritual intentions, missing out on his plans to deepen our faith and strengthen our relationship with Him.
But many grieving people are unprepared for the intensity of their emotions and the duration of their grief. Many feel alienated from God and others, and find it hard to move on in life when dealing with the grief and emptiness that happens after a loved one dies.
Whether the loss is recent or in the remote past, the Navigating Your Grief workshop is a beneficial tool in understanding the impact of death on our lives and the meaningful ways to mourn the death of a loved one.
One of the benefits of attending a grief workshop is the reminder that you are not alone. Grief can feel very lonely and isolating, especially when no one else around you appears to be grieving. This seems to be particularly true the younger you are.
Although no two people experience grief in the exact same way, by attending a workshop you may find that other people have experiences, feelings, and struggles that are similar to your own. When you feel totally alone and misunderstood by the world, this workshop can provide you with a haven of understanding.
Here are some comments from former participants of one of the grief workshops:
“After my father’s death, I went through the most painful year of my life. The grief group meetings were the highlight of my week. I loved the fellowship and just being with people who knew what I was going through. I pray that more people will use the grief classes to help them through their grief.” — Karli Alger
“The grief ministry helped me to feel normal about the things I was going through. It enabled me to work on my grief instead of stuffing it down. It reignited my prayer life. It lead me to meet wonderful people who were experiencing similar things. All of the facilitators were extremely humble and genuine and communicated God’s love with patience and compassion.” — Kat Nielsen-Mayer
“I loved how insightful and God-centered the grief program was. It helped me address many aspects of my grief with God. I greatly enjoyed breaking into small groups and connecting with others.” — Andrew Pugh
“The videos and workbook provided information and scripture that helped me move past my difficulties. They deepened my understanding of other passages and helped me see how to apply them to my grief.” — Sean Pusey
“The videos helped me understand what I’m going through better (including physical symptoms), as well as learning how to deal with grief in my daily life. It was very practical.” — Celene Burt
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.