When Gloria Ranney lost both parents within four weeks of each other, she felt a void in the church for those who are grieving.
Marg Christians, a nurse with hospice training, had lost a parent and a sister, and found she was not prepared for unresolved issues in those deaths.
The two women, both members of Avery Street Christian Reformed Church in South Windsor, Conn., discovered they shared a common vision to provide a grief recovery ministry from a biblical perspective.
Together, the women started a GriefShare ministry for their community. GriefShare, centered on a 13-week video series titled Your Journey from Mourning to Joy, provides a Christ-centered perspective on grieving.
Using announcements in local newspapers and a posting on the griefshare.org website for the Sunday-afternoon sessions, the women drew 10 participants the very first week, most from outside the church. One participant talked of suicide, but she is now a faithful member of the church’s Coffee Break ministry.
The women have run the video series four times so far and have been encouraged by comments from participants who say the classes have given them hope and reminded them to trust God.