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Surviving the Holidays Program: An Opportunity for Outreach and Evangelism

Churches are offering a holiday survival seminar for people in grief. The results? Care, outreach and evangelism in the community.

Contact: Samuel Hodges, Executive Producer, Church Initiative, 800-395-5755, ext 247, shodges@churchinitiative.org

WAKE FOREST, N.C., Nov. 2 /Christian Newswire/ -- Local churches are providing help to people in bereavement over the holidays through Surviving the Holidays seminars and are excited at the number of attendees from outside the church. These two-hour, video-based seminars, produced by GriefShare, are designed to be hosted by churches as a care and outreach tool prior to and during the holiday season.

People grieving a death can be overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness throughout Thanksgiving and Christmastime. Putting up decorations alone, seeing the empty place at the holiday table, facing family traditions -- these and more can trigger feelings of grief.

This is a crucial time for churches to reach out and come alongside grieving people in their community with the hope of the gospel.

Lay leader Bonnie Shultzman, whose church offered Surviving the Holidays in Wooster, OH, received positive feedback from the attendees. "Several commented that they'd never been part of a group like this before, where they felt so safe with their grief."

Carol Landeis, lay leader at Evangel Assembly of God, Bismarck, ND, was thrilled with the number of newcomers from the local area: "We had 51 in attendance. Seventy-five percent of the people who came were first-time visitors to our church."

Pastors, too, are excited about this opportunity to reach out to community members in grief. Rev. Jim Bates of Faith Reformed Presbyterian Church, Quarryville, PA, was encouraged by the clear gospel presentation in the Surviving the Holidays series. "We had many who may have heard the gospel for the first time woven into their grief story."

Any church can offer Surviving the Holidays program from GriefShare, which comes as a kit with a 40-minute video seminar featuring counsel from respected Christian experts and advice from people who've been through grief; Survival Guides with 30 devotions and a salvation plan for seminar attendees; and complete instructions for promoting and hosting an outreach event.

For more information about Surviving the Holidays, visit www.griefshare.org/surviving.

About GriefShare
GriefShare is a network of over 7,000 churches equipped to offer grief recovery support groups. A searchable database of groups is found at
www.griefshare.org. GriefShare is a ministry of Church Initiative of Wake Forest, NC.