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GriefShare support group offered locally

By Paula Walter

GriefShare is a Bible-based international support group that offers assistance and support through the grieving process after the death of a loved one, family member or close friend.  The program specifically addresses the needs of people as they heal from the death of someone they hold close to their hearts.  Local Johnson Countians, Jane Winters and Sarah Campbell, will be the facilitators for this program that begins on Tuesday, February 8, 2014 at Mountain City First Baptist Church.
While GriefShare was developed several years ago, the nearest locations to Johnson County had previously been in Abingdon, Virginia and Boone, North Carolina.  According to Winters, Pastor Ricky Campbell approached the two women about facilitating the 13-week program that was designed to make use of DVDs, support group discussions, workbooks, along with personal study and reflection.  At the time Pastor Campbell brought up the possibility of offering GriefShare on a local level, Winters had been contemplating working with Hospice, but those plans had not worked out.  “I feel like God was leading me into the program,” she said. “It’s a called ministry.  Lots of people come seeking help with their grief, but they also find the Lord.”
GriefShare’s motto is “Your journey from mourning to joy.”  Each week, a new topic is introduced. These include: Living with Grief, The Journey of Grief, The Effects of Grief, When your spouse dies, Your family and grief, Why?, The uniqueness of Grief, God’s Prescription for Grief, Stuck in Grief, Top Twenty Lessons of Grief and Heaven.  The program strives to give people the tools to understand the grief they are experiencing and also the ability to move forward after their loss.
Through the use of videos, GriefShare features Christian authors, counselors and speakers with a wealth of experience on grief and recovery and addresses their audience from a Biblical point of view.  Zig Ziglar, motivational speaker and author, Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham, Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, Pastor Larry Crabb, founder of New Way Ministries and Joni Eareckson Tada, the founder of Joni and Friends Ministries that was created after Tada suffered a diving accident are just some of the program’s seminar experts.  
Mountain City First Baptist Church invites anyone experiencing grief to join the program.  
The cost of the program is $25 and covers all materials.  Financial assistance is available. The class size is limited to 12.  More information can be obtained by calling the church office at 423-727-9711.