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Island of Hope Church to host grief counselling sessions

Posted on September 11, 2018 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Justin Seward


Grieving is what many people struggle with worldwide on daily basis.
The feeling could not have been anymore evident in a place like Bow Island lately who lost a young member in their community and the Island of Hope Church is here to help with similar situations through the GriefShare sessions beginning on Sept. 20.
GriefShare seminars and support groups are organized for those who are understanding of what someone can go through and want to help.
Facilitators Coreen Thacker and Marg Vanderspruit will be on hand to help the participants and coordinate with the professional counselors after a 40 min DVD is presented to help the people.
Attendees will then take a workbook home with them to work through different points of grieving.
“We have been trying as a church body to do community outreach to show the unconditional love and realize this is where we’re suppose to be, in the community and not just inside a building,” said Thacker.
“That’s the motivator. I think even realizing recent tragedies but as I said before, a lot of people have held grief for years.
“It’s just a healthy exercise. It gives them hope.”
Thacker said as facilitators in the sessions that they have a lifetime of being in the community which included being a nurse and an administrator for 40 years at hospital allowed her to learn about coping with accidents and deaths. Additionally, it makes one recognize those people who come along with the times of stress.
Both Vanderspruit and herself help with the local victim services and what she considers a “very important outreach in the community,” because raw emotions are being dealt with and if GriefShare can help when the funeral is over and a person can be normal again, she added.
“We’re here to walk alongside each other in life and as long as we’re occupying space, we should be contributing,” she said.
There will be 13 sessions that are happening beginning on Sept. 20 (7p.m.) at the Island of Hope Church and will run every Thursday until Dec. 13. and is open to anyone.
Learning strategies will include challenges of grief, two sessions on the journey of grief, relationship grief, guilty and anger, complicating factors and a session on getting stuck, while the last lessons will be in grief, heaven and what do I live for now.
People can sign-up for the course by logging onto or by calling Thacker at (403) 928-8464 or at the door on Sept. 20.

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