Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Starting A Widows' Group?

Dear Friends,
There are a lot of widows groups out there, and here's where you can now begin to find out about them, share ideas, and maybe even start your own. So hang with me for the next several months as I get a directory going. And, why not send me a casual photo and note about your group too? Here's the info to include:
  • Name of group (if you have a name):
  • How often you meet:
  • What you do:
  • And, if you are a church sponsored group and would like to list the church contact information please send me that too.
I'm sharing the photo and note I recently received from a group in southwestern Pennsylvania so you can see how easy it is. Once I get the directory started I'll include tips and ice-breakers that you've found fun and effective so other groups can try them too. 
This is for any Christian widows group, not only the ones who are using my book. We need to know about other good books and resources too! Please email me with your group info and photo today WCplace@gmail.com
ferree

Widows' Might -- South Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Hi Ferree,
Attached is a picture of our group. We are named Widows' Might. (I thought of that name before learning there is a national group called Widows' Might. 'Hope we're not in trouble!) (No need to worry, Chris, that's a very popular name for widow groups, articles and books too! You chose well! fbh) We meet every Saturday afternoon, and after having light refreshments and announcements/updates, we dive into one chapter of Postcards From the Widows' Path, enjoying lively, meaningful discussion as we take turns reading the chapter out loud. Prayer requests are always addressed. We end our session with a 10-minute discussion of one of the widow-related topics in our "Hot Topics" candy dish. Very fun!! love, Chris

Here's more Chris had to say after a recent group meeting.

....We had a great meeting this afternoon and enjoyed discussing Postcard #9. Friendships grow and change throughout our lives, but nothing changes them as dramatically as death and grief. We discussed how some friendships have all but fallen off the radar screen altogether, but our hope--and our heartfelt prayer at the end of the meeting--is that we will expect, recognize, and receive new friends as the Lord brings them to us. Thank you for the revolving door illustration. Exit. Enter. Got it!
I thought you might enjoy reading a list of some of the Hot Topics we have in our candy dish. They include:
  • What to Do When I'm Lonely
  • Making Decisions
  • What Do I Do Next?
  • Hugging Men
  • Ways to Say "Goodbye"
  • Guidelines for Activities With Married Couples
  • Widow's Brain
  • Boundaries With Adult Children
  • Handling In-law Issues
  • Attending Funerals
  • Weddings, & Other Occasions...
 
Chris, and friends at the Widows' Might group, congratulations on being the first group featured here on Widows Christian Place! I love the Hot Topics candy dish! I'm sure that has given you some lively and meaningful discussions. God bless you as you journey through grief together, and thank you for sharing what you do. Keep on keeping on!

5 comments:

  1. I love the idea of Hot Topics! Great job, ladies!

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  2. I just started a Widow's luncheon at my church. This gives me ideas for my group. Thank you.

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  3. I'm happy to hear about your luncheon, and that this gave you some ideas. Check out this weeks' post too for a good getting to know each other survey. Just copy and paste and tailor it for your unique use. God bless you!

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  4. I want to start a widow group at my church 🙂
    How do you keep it light and not heavy?

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  5. Thank you for this great question! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to see that when you start your group most of the women will want to keep it light and not add to the burden they already carry. The one thing they want to walk away with each week is HOPE. God has an unlimited supply and He freely gives. :) Always keep in mind that widows ministry is very exciting because you get to see women "come back to life." ---it does take a while so there might be some "heavy" group times but God can help you carry that burden and turn it around as you let the group members minister to each other. Another thing is to set good boundaries---you start and finish on time, you decide if you'll meet weekly (which is a bit too much for many unless its a short-term commitment of 4 - 6 weeks), or monthly or every other week. Have support people for yourself such as a men's group in the church who help with home and auto repairs, or a counselor or mentor to help with personal issues. One person cannot address the full spectrum of widows needs. I prefer "light" rather than "heavy" too and one way to do that is to simply meet to share a meal each month. Either at a restaurant or home, or now during Covid days eat outdoors at a park. Start out with a cute and fun Icebreaker or read a joke and end with a devotional reading and asking for prayer requests. What I find is that the ladies minister to each other during and after these times. That's really what it's all about--providing a safe place for them to be accepted and know that they are not alone. For more ideas click on the Support Group Ideas in the side column of this blog under "2.Or Search The Labels". Also email me at WCplace@gmail.com and pass along your mailing address and I will send you a free discussion guide for my book. Even is you don't use my book it has some group guidelines and icebreakers. Bottom line though is that most widows want to keep it light too---they don't need to get dragged under with more sad times. They do need to tell their stories but you can lead them in positive ways to share them. As the group leader you set the tone---compassionate of course, but also hopeful and always looking for the ways God will show up in each of their lives. He will!

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