By Amanda Boston
“The LORD is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) When a loved one passes from this earth those who are left behind confront an array of intense emotions. Oftentimes, the deep feeling of hurt debilitates a person’s ability to accept the death and move forward in everyday life. While a period of mourning is healthy, the griever will eventually need to mend their broken heart.
Thankfully, many churches have adopted GriefShare, a 13-week program specifically designed to assist individuals through the grieving process. GriefShare is a ministry developed by Church Initiative, a nondenominational, nonprofit organization equipping churches worldwide with a biblical support group ministry. The weekly meeting consists of three segments: a video seminar with experts, a group discussion and personal study and reflection. Each meeting is self-contained so the program may be started at anytime within the 13-week cycle.
Although grief is not limited to death, GriefShare is exclusively for individuals mourning a death. Whether the death is recent or from the past, the support group is available for those searching to restore hope and in need of encouragement.
A list of local churches participating in the GriefShare program can be found below. For further information, please contact the church directly or for a more comprehensive list, please visit www.griefshare.org.
Bay Life Church, located on 1017 Kingsway Rd., Brandon offers a group on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.baylife.org.
First Baptist Church Plant City, located 503 N. Palmer St., Plant City offers a group on Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.fbcpc.com.
FishHawk Fellowship, located at 15326 Fishhawk Blvd., Lithia offers a group on Mondays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.fishhawkfc.org.
Southside Baptist Church, located at 425 W. Lumsden Rd., Brandon offers a group on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.southsidebrandon.org/griefshare/.
St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, located at 3315 S. Bryan Rd., Brandon offers a group on Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.saumc.net/.