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“I am Resurrection and I am Life, says the Lord. Whoever has faith in me shall have life, even though he die. And everyone who has life, and has committed himself to me in faith, shall not die for ever. As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives and that at the last he will stand upon the earth. After my awaking, he will raise me up; and in my body I shall see God. I myself shall see, and my eyes behold him who is my friend and not a stranger. For none of us has life in himself, and none becomes his own master when he dies. For if we have life, we are alive in the Lord, and if we die, we die in the Lord. So, then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's possession.” (Book of Common Prayer, Burial Office pg. 491)

Christ Church does a wonderful job taking care of parishioners who have lost a loved one in the immediate days surrounding the death and the funeral. Meals are provided; a service is conducted; and cards and flowers are sent. Father. Ken and Father Mark are involved with the family.

And then grief begins. The rest of the world returns to their routines. It is as if nobody even knows that the saddest event has just happened for you. Others don’t always understand the deep, prolonged impact caused by the death of a spouse, family member, or close friend. The griever needs ongoing support and encouragement, lasting months, or perhaps even longer. It’s a level of care that even the most conscientious priest or friend is unable to provide.

Grief is difficult for everyone impacted by a death. As Episcopalians, we have the hope that we live and die in the life of the Lord. Sometimes, no matter how good a Christian, we forget this very important concept. Death re-sorts our priorities, dims our reactions and memories, and turns life upside down. We might even forget the promise: We have life in the Lord. “He is my friend and not a stranger.” A vital component of GriefShare is prayer and biblical reflection. Because the emotional pain cuts to the soul, true healing can only come from God.

GriefShare is built around three components. We start with a video featuring top experts in psychology, loss, healing, and theology. We will have group discussion to follow up on the topics of the previous week and share our thoughts and feelings, and finally discuss the workbook-based personal study and reflection for that session.

GriefShare helps people grieving the loss of a close loved one in the journey from mourning into joy. GriefShare is a 13-week program. At each meeting, participants learn about grief-related issues covering topics that can be grouped into the categories of comfort, answers and hope.  While it is ideal for group members to attend all 13 sessions, each weekly session is designed to be open, meaning a person can begin attending at any time, and still find comfort.

While all losses are important, GriefShare is designed for the loss of a close loved one. Our group will  be inappropriate for people who may be grieving the loss of a pet, a job loss, the loss of custody of a child through divorce, or the deep fear and anxiety of the caregiver of someone who is very sick or dying. Although people who are grieving the loss of a child or teen are welcome at GriefShare, Lost and Found is a better resource in those special circumstance. As in the case of children, we will maintain a list of referral sources to redirect you to better resources. GriefShare is a national program with experience in dealing with the grieving from loss of a close family member. When the group departs from that focus, the group dynamics change, and other participants feel their loss is trivialized when placed on the same level as a loss other than death.

If you are suffering from the loss of a close loved one, please consider GriefShare. Our first cycle of sessions will start on September 26 and will run from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., giving people, who wish, the opportunity to attend the Thursday evening Holy Eucharist at 5:30 p.m.

GriefShare is a lay-led program. We, Melissa Dallas and Sally Scheid will be co-leaders. Each of us has dealt with the death of a spouse and continues to journey the path of grief. We strongly believe in the healing that GriefShare has to offer. Please call or email the front office at 866-5133 or email to speak with us so we can answer your questions.



Links To Episcopal Resources To Aid With Worship

Bible Gateway: A useful site to quickly search the bible in multiple translations. We commonly use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

The Lectionary Page: This website allows you to view the Episcopal Liturgical Calendar, and has links to lessons for Sundays and Holy Days.

The Book of Common Prayer Online: This resource allows you to view the Book of Common Prayer online in its entirety.


Links to Episcopal Education

The Episcopal Church: The official page for the Episcopal Church. A great resource to learn about the church as a whole.

Education For Ministry: A four-year distance learning certificate program through Sewanee: The University of the South.

Forward Movement: This site offers books and other media for Christian education.


Links To Information About The Diocese of West Missouri

The Diocese of West Missouri: The official homepage of The Diocese of West Missouri.

Map of Episcopal Churches: A map showing the locations of churches within the Diocese of West Missouri.

eSpirit: The electronic newsletter of The Diocese of West Missouri; it provides a short and easy to read digest of up-to-the-minute news, events, and general information. It is emailed twice monthly.

Spirit: Another newsletter of The Diocese of West Missouri; it features longer articles which explore and reflect on the interests of Episcopalians in West Missouri. It includes more detailed reporting on news and events and is emailed quarterly.