I want to thank the churches and facilitators that have found innovative ways to serve those grieving in their communities during the last 2 years and into this year as we have come head to head with each wave of Covid-19.
I am looking forward to again begin training new facilitators that will serve their churches and communities. We have on our calendar early this year four Training Schools. Despite having to reschedule those planned in January and early February, we believe they will go on as planned beginning in March. Two of those schools have waiting lists.
Has your faith community consider hosting a school. We would like to add some more dates to our calendar. If interested, please email me, Catherine Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin planning.
Finally, after not being able to offer schools because of Covid, we have opportunities to attend a Facilitator Training School in 2022 already on the calendar and more to follow! The school at Trinity Episcopal Church in The Woodlands is already almost fully booked. Just added to the calendar is a school in Little Rock in January.
Additionally we have a school at Beckwith Center right on the Alabama Gulf Shores in March and another scheduled at St. John's Episcopal Church in Ellicott City MD in April. Keep checking back as schools will continued to be added to our schedule.
The news on the pandemic has finally been hopeful. As I write this the CDC has come out with a new directive that those who are vaccinated may begin to stop wearing masks and gathering. I know my heart is lifted with the news.
As we begin again to plan programing and activities I am excited about again training facilitators and having more faith communities offer the ministry of Walking the Mourners Path. We have begun to schedule trainings for the fall and concrete dates should begin to fill our calendar.
In the meantime, be gentle with those who have suffered the death of a loved one in the pandemic. Be present to them as they again returning to their families and there is an empty place at the table and they are reminded of their loss. Healing is going to take time. We have to be mindful that as are hearts lift with the news of a return to the new normal, for some there is still a heavy heart that grieves.
When the pandemic started I do not believe any of us completely understood the impact and length of virus and how it changed the way we do church. Many churches are offering virtual small groups that have been great to keep individuals connected.
Unfortunately, as wonderful as Zoom is, it does not completely replace in-person church, small groups, and meetings. At Mourner's Path, we decided that in order to fully equip facilitators in the ministry we could not see a pathway to full virtual training. Therefore a Hybrid model has been developed.
We will begin with 3 to 4 Zoom gatherings of 1 1/2 hours each. These gatherings will build a foundation for a ministry to grieving and equip those attending with tools to minister to the grieving until they can complete the training in-person and begin offering the program.
Please contact me to learn more at email@example.com .
The virus and our need to create safe spaces has left many of us struggling to how to minister and serve those who are experiencing grief today. Our sacred ritual of gathering together in person to worship, celebrate, and share stories of loved ones who have died is being delayed. As faith communities have changed the way we worship, so too, will we need to change the way we minister. Many churches have in place tools and ministries that can be offered in a new way to the grieving. Look at new ways to offer them. Most of all, remember to keep in touch, phone calls, cards, FaceTime, Zoom are all examples of how we can show and share God's love to those struggling with grief .
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as Program Director of this amazing program. Here you will find the most current news about the program and trainings. Plus a few thoughts to help you minister to those who grieve in your faith communities. Blessings.