Monday, March 25, 2019

How to Start A Widow's Group

Last week I shared about the Naomi Ministry in Alban PA. Their group started when the Lord stirred the hearts of two widows to reach out to others. Is God stirring your heart too?

I've heard from many of you that He is!

Reaching out ideas and actions come in many forms:
  • A Mennonite widow in Virginia hosted a Valentines Dinner for widows in her new business venture, a café, and gave them a free, delicious meal along with an evening of heart-felt sharing and talent.
  • A church in the Pittsburgh PA area plans to host a Tea for Widows event, aiming for 50 to attend.
  • A twice-widowed woman I recently met leads a group of 192 widows at her church, and the church didn't seem too interested at first! But she told me that although she doesn't fight for many things, her experiences of walking alone and abandoned as a widow made her passionate that no other woman in her circle of influence will ever have to go it alone like she did! The church leaders seem to be listening now. 😅
  • "Book club" type groups use Postcards from the Widows Path and its discussion guide, (request the guide by emailing me at I'll need your mailing address); or Miriam Neff's From One Widow to Another set of DVD's. 
  • Other groups-- small, local groups of 4 - 12 women like mine in South Carolina or Bebe's in the Philadelphia area get together for lunch in homes or restaurants about once a month. Bebe always makes sure they have some good laughs by bringing along some silly stories and jokes. I start with a fun "ice-breaker" conversation starter, we eat and talk, and afterwards we have some "soul food" which is just a short devotional, a Psalm, or a reading from this blog or Facebook pertaining to widowhood and hope. Then we talk some more!
  • CEO--Caring for Each Other, is a local group that started with a widow's heart to help others back in 2012 in Kansas. It now reaches over 100 hurting people in their community, funded and fueled by God's grace. My friend Carmen has seen God supply their needs over and over again.
There are others too! and I hope to tell you about them in the weeks to come. But back to the basic question---How to START?

Pray! And pray about all these things:
  • Find the person(s) you can team up with.
  • Discern whether your group can be 1). a ministry of your local church (always the first choice, but not always possible), or if it will be 2). a home group, or 3). a community group that meets in a public place. 
  • Talk about your purpose and outreach--what unique service will you provide? Fellowship and social and  emotional support are legit! But you can also survey widows in the area or in your church to see what they actually want and if your ideas fit. This will help build a case for your church to be involved.
  • Decide how often to meet--(weekly, bi-weekly, monthly; a.m. or p.m.), what you will do, any costs involved. (I will mention resources in a future post). 
  • Plan your first kick-off event and start inviting! 
For further detail and help go to Miriam Neff's website and this page: How To Start A Widows Ministry  She has a wealth of information. You'll find a ready-made survey to download and a starter list for referrals of businesses to help widows in your locale. Search the rest of her website for 7 reasons why churches should have widows ministry and how to order her DVD's for starting a widows group.

Let's do this!

💗 ferree

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