Church reaches out
to those feeling loss
By Arleen Wixtrom (8/8/04)
Two dedicated couples
are leading weekly sessions on grief and on divorce at Good News
Assembly of God in Ishpeming, Mich., to reach out to help other
residents who are hurting in the community.
“Our goal is
soul impact,” says John Roy, pastor in the Upper Peninsula
town of 6,700. “We want the vision to see the need in our
community and to minister to it.”
Jim and Bonnie Gravedoni
operate a weekly program called Grief Share at the Michigan church,
which has an average Sunday morning attendance of 210.
“People in grief
— hurting, feeling hopeless, and depressed — are people
looking for answers, and for a purpose for their lives,”
The Gravedonis were
motivated to start a grief program six years ago after the death
of their 17-year-old son. Troy, a strong Christian teen who encouraged
others for the Lord, was killed in a car wreck.
His parents now are
using their anguish to make a difference in the lives of other
people who have lost loved ones.
Another couple in the
congregation, Bruce and Joan Nelson, have been married 25 years,
but they each have known the heartache of divorce.
Through their Divorce
Care Support Group, they help others overcome the sting of rejection
that divorce brings. The Nelsons know that Christ is the answer
in painful circumstances. “People feel loved, touched and
cared for as we pray together for their emotions and individual
situations,” Joan says.