Category: Support Groups

Clinton Church Succeeds in Grief Support

The Custer Avenue Church of Christ in Clinton, Oklahoma, has developed a very successful effort in community assistance through a grief support group. Their preacher, Pat Peters, tells the story below.

We are convinced the most important thing we can do to grow is to care for people. There is not a more effective time to care for people than when they are hurting, When the hurt being suffered is grief, we know what to do.

Each October we sponsor a Grief Support Group. Notices are sent out to surrounding congregations, letters are sent to those in our community who have recently lost a loved one, and newspaper ads are placed. In spite of all this, though, the most effective advertising seems to come from word-of-mouth.

Eight sessions are scheduled, one each week each about 90 minutes long. Each session is made of personal, getting-to-know-you type conversation, a time of learning specific materials, and a time of sharing what is happening to us in our grief.

  • Week One - “Why does my grief hurt?”
  • Week Two - Normal Grief Reactions
  • Week Three - More Normal Grief Reactions
  • Week Four - Handling Fear, Anger, and Anxiety
  • Week Five - Handling Special Days
  • Week Six - My Faith and My Loss
  • Week Seven - Getting Back into Life
  • Week Eight - Planning for the Future

The information given each week is relevant and meaningful, but the most important part of any session is the conversation that takes place. The key to progress through the grieving process is talking. We encourage each person to share something every week. If the group is too large, more than ten, we will divide the group into smaller conversation groups. The information sharing can be done with the whole group, no matter what its size, …

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Posted on January 20th, 2010 in Support Groups

Diabetes Support Group Connects Church with Community

Many churches have found that providing support groups for people in many different circumstances has been helpful both to serve the community and to acquaint people with the church.  Ken Ellis, in Noble, Oklahoma, population about 5,000, has found good success in working with people who are diabetic.

Ellis, himself a diabetic, has been working in this way for twenty years.  Each March, he has an initial seminar on diabetes in the local library to make the initial contact.  The monthly meetings following are at the church building.  Over half of those attending are from outside the church fellowship and some have been baptized as a result of this initial contact through the support group.

Twenty-three percent of those over sixty and 11 percent of those forty to fifty-nine have diabetes, with still more being pre-diabetic.  Ellis has found this both an important, and a growing group to serve.  People from age 15 through 80 have attended his groups.

To stir interest in the initial meeting, Ellis advertises with attractive fliers distributed throughout the community.  These give the time and place of the seminar along with cartoons that demonstrate the need for people to know more about diabetes and how to deal with it.  He also encourages church members to spread the word among their friends.  Doctors Sheri Colberg and Steven Edelman have called diabetes “the tsunami of the health-care system,” suggesting that the number of people needing assistance with the disease is a rapidly growing population.

Churches have found that helping community members with their needs in finances, marriage and divorce, parenting, and grief can all be ways to serve and connect with the community.  A diabetes group is another good possibility among these services.

For information on starting a Diabetes Group, contact Ken Ellis in Noble, OK. Call …

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Posted on December 14th, 2009 in Support Groups

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