New Life Church announces regional GriefShare program
Published 1:17 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2022
New Life Church Global, which is based in Franklin, has announced that it has become a host church for a grief support program called GriefShare, which is a 13-week, Christ-centered support group for people who have lost a spouse, child, family member or friend through death.
Aside from a $20 workbook plus shipping, the program, which operates virtually, is free, and a scholarship program exists to help those who cannot afford to pay for the workbook.
Dr. Eric Majette, senior pastor at New Life Church Global, said the announcement of New Life becoming a host church for the program Jan. 6 resulted in people becoming registered that very day.
He affirmed that the quick response underscored the great need for the program.
“You think about all the stuff that people are dealing with, all the loss from COVID and just life, period,” he said. “The main thing I want people to know is that it’s free, it’s a place to come get healed, to be encouraged (for) those that are dealing with grief.”
A brochure for the program notes, “After the funeral, when the cards and flowers have stopped coming, most of the people around you return to their normal lives. But your grief continues, and you feel alone.
“Often, friends and family want to help you but don’t know how. That’s the reason for GriefShare.”
The brochure states that GriefShare is led by caring people who have experienced grief and have successfully rebuilt their lives.
On a global level, GriefShare is a network of 15,000+ churches worldwide, equipped to offer grief support groups, the brochure states. The program is nondenominational and features biblical concepts for healing from grief.
Locally, the iteration of GriefShare being offered by New Life Church will be directed by Dr. Charlene B. Artis, who will be leading a team of facilitators that has been trained.
Artis said the facilitators “are very passionate in recognizing that people need someone to talk to, and most times when people are grieving, they just want to talk, they want someone to listen to them, and that’s what we’re about.”
She said GriefShare is biblically based to help people adjust to a new normalcy.
She mentioned that a key benefit of the program taking place online is that it allows for families who are spread out geographically to heal together.
“There may be families who want to go through the process together, so if one person lives in Virginia and someone may live in North Carolina, they can go through the same process, and they can do it together,” she said. “That’s what I like about being able to do it virtually is that families don’t have to go through it by themselves.”
To be specific in terms of the process, GriefShare is a support group that meets weekly for 13 weeks, the local iteration will launch Monday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m., and it will run until 8:30 p.m. for each session.
“So every Monday evening, we will avail ourselves via Zoom where people can log in, and we will show them videos, because it is video-based,” Artis said, referencing the program.
As a brochure notes, there are three key parts to the GriefShare experience: a video seminar, which includes encouraging, information-packed videos featuring leading grief recovery experts; a support group, which includes small-group discussion about the weekly video content; and a workbook, which facilitates journaling and personal study exercises that reinforce the weekly session topics.
A brochure highlights weekly seminar topics found within the program:
- Is This Normal?
- Challenges of Grief
- The Journey of Grief – Parts One and Two
- Grief and Your Relationships
- Guilt and Anger
- Complicating Factors
- Lessons of Grief – Parts One and Two
- What Do I Live for Now?
“The videos may range anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes,” Artis said. “We will give time for discussion, and we break out into groups, depending on the number (of people). We will break out into individual groups so the groups won’t be so large, to give the people an opportunity to share, or talk — whatever they want to deal with on that particular night.”
Artis said the 13 sessions will include agendas to help everything flow in an organized way.
She also highlighted another benefit to the virtual aspect of the program.
“Those who register will get access to all the videos, so by chance someone can’t come Week 3, they still have the video for Week 3 that they will be able to look at,” she said. “The only piece they will miss is the discussion piece, but they will get what I consider the meat of the group.”
A brochure also notes that participants are welcome to begin attending a GriefShare group at any point, adding that each session is “self-contained,” so people do not have to attend in sequence. They will be able to pick up any sessions they missed in the next 13-week cycle.
“Once you come through one time, you have the option to come through again,” Artis said. “You don’t have to repay (for the workbook).”
She later shared some advice to potential program participants on how to benefit the most from the program.
“To get the best out of the program, people have to invest time in themselves,” she said. “They have to look at the videos, they have to attend the group, they have to do what I consider the assignments of the day to get the best out of this.”
She noted that she and the facilitators are there not to teach but rather to facilitate, helping participants if they get stuck in a certain area.
“We try to present to them options,” she said. “‘Have you tried this? Have you considered this?’ This is the best part about it being with other people who are in the grieving process; they get opportunity to share how they are making it through, and some people may not have considered the process.”
Artis also said the local GriefShare program will be able to serve teenagers, ages 13-17.
“We have a facilitator that is focused directly in that particular area,” she said.
Majette is hoping to grow the local iteration of GriefShare so it has a larger, regional impact.
“If other churches want to get involved, they can contact Charlene,” he said. “It isn’t just a New Life thing. We want to be a blessing to the community at large.”
He stated that New Life Church Global is open to partnering with churches, schools, funeral homes and individual people to help bring healing to those grieving.
To register or to contact New Life Church Global for additional information, visit griefshare.org/groups/143386. Artis can be reached at 757-297-0142.