Companioning the Bereaved: The Development of a Framework for Congregations

Thumbnail Image
Mitchell, Pat
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
My goal for this project is to develop a framework for a grief ministry that congregations may utilize. This goal will offer a theological reflective opportunity through Scripture to recognize God’s role in our grieving process. There are several factors that affect the decision of this pastoral concern. Given the age of my current congregation, the death of loved ones has become a major part of their lives. The middle-aged group is experiencing the death of parents while the senior citizens are grieving the deaths of spouses and siblings. There are families experiencing the death of loved ones at all ages due to sudden accidents, illness, etc. This project will address the need to encourage parish members to reach out to others in a time of need and offer a method to do so. At Hilltop Lutheran Church the Saturday evening service is a more relaxed, small group of parishioners who are connected outside of the church. The two Sunday services are more traditional in nature. The Gospels and lessons are always the same for all three services; the connectedness of groups is what makes each service different. With a common bond of grieving, the church leadership is supporting this project to establish an opportunity to offer engagement and bonding among all of the parishioners.