The Northend Ministerial Alliance (NEMA) is sponsoring a GriefShare Group, to help promote healing and restoration out of deep grief. The GriefShare Group will meet beginning Dec. 5, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Spot, located at 13th and Findlay streets in Portsmouth.
Pastor Clarence Parker, of Pleasant Green Baptist Church, and president of NEMA, said there is a great need in the community to offer support for grief.
“I just think that GriefShare is a most needed ministry. It gives our Northend Ministerial Alliance an opportunity to address the needs of our various churches, and members of our community when we have loved ones that are lost,” Parker said. “We have really experienced a heavy load here the last few years. We want to be able to comfort and encourage people, and to do that not so much professionally, but from the standpoint of equipping people to be able to share, and talk and aid others as they go through that period is very important.”
The Grief Share classes are open to the public, regardless of age.
“People are welcome to come and be a part of it either by way of dealing with their own grief, because they’ve lost a loved one it would be good for them to come and get the material that is going to be shared,” Parker said. “However, it is also intended to equip those who can be trained to be able to aid and assist others. The groups are open to the public, the only cost is that we are asking folks to give a $5 towards the purchase of the books and materials that they will be receiving when they go through the training. Someone may want to come, and may not have the $5, and that is fine, they can still come and be a part of the group as well.”
Elder Randal Lewis, of Kingdom Builders Evangelistic Ministries, Inc., and member of NEMA, experienced the Grief Share classes first hand, and considers them to be remarkable.
“My wife and I went through the classes at Christ’s Community Church at the time that my mother had passed away,” Lewis said. “At that time, I was really in a bad way, after losing my mother. I can’t really explain to be completely honest. The GriefShare classes really, really enlightened me, and very helpful. It provided more revelation about death. When our loved ones pass on we are left here in life to cope, and to adjust, and the Grief Share can really help with that.”
Lewis said his facilitator Marilyn Hairston of the Grief Share Group at Christ’s Community Church was extremely helpful, and made a tremendous difference.
“Marilyn was a great facilitator. She had lost her son, which is what really sparked her to start the GriefShare with all of what she’d experienced as a result of their son passing away,” Lewis said. “So God had placed a desire in her heart to help other families. So we just want to extend an opportunity to any and everyone in the community that is going through some type of grief to just come out, as we begin on December 5th.”
Hairston said overwhelming pain in the loss of her some forced her to seek support to deal with the grief.
“GriefShare is a grief support ministry that I had been hoping and praying for, due to great loss in our family,” Hairston said. “When we lost our son, the pain was so intense and unbearable. I was in search of a bereavement support group. But there was none in our area. I sought grief counseling from pastors in our community, which helped me to begin to heal from the deep depression I was going through. I also traveled to Huntington and received Christian counseling.”
Hairston also said she is elated that NEMA is taking initiative to sponsor a GriefShare, and is hopeful that churches throughout the community will get involved as well.
“God placed a strong desire on my heart to start a GriefShare bereavement ministry at my church, which was opened to anyone who was searching for a grief support group, and desired healing. Over the last five years, those who have attended the Christ centered, Bible based, video driven support group have expressed it has helped them to begin moving forward, and not be stuck in their grief,” Hairston said. I’m so thankful that the NEMA is also offering this wonderful grief support. And pray that other churches, and groups will also offer it. It is a ministry that is so much needed in our area to help those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one.”
For more information regarding the GriefShare Group to be sponsored by NEMA, contact Elder Randal Lewis at 740-357-7344.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.