Grief comes in many forms, and regardless of the source of one's grief, the process is a journey.
The Prineville Community Church has offered a grief support group since 2015. Based on the GriefShare Ministry, the 13-week video series and support group offers support for those grieving the loss of a loved one—at any point in their grief process. Whether it is a recent loss or one that has re-emerged due to circumstances, the ministry offers help and encouragement.
GriefShare is a network of 15,000-plus churches worldwide that is equipped to offer support groups. It is nondenominational and features biblical concepts for healing from grief. The local group is facilitated by Pastor Chris Cookston, Shera Cookston and LaVerne Cater. The sessions are held at the Prineville Community Church.
Chris Cookston said that the group began in 2015 after a church member lost their wife. The desire to have a God-centered group prompted the inception of the GriefShare support group.
"This one is specifically for people who have lost a spouse, child or brother or sister," explained Cookston. "We began this in 2015."
"Every week, there is a DVD video that the group watches, and then there is discussion."
He added that they use a workbook, which also gives participants a chance to process their grief while formulating questions for discussion. Cookston went on to say that the groups are usually smaller. He encourages interested participants to call and make contact to get registered for the group.
"People don't need to be a Christian to come to this. People do not need to be a member of our church or another church. This is open to anybody," he added.
Shera Cookston also emphasized that participants do not need to feel pressured to share anything they don't wish to share with the group. Chris Cookston added that having others who share the experience of grief and the counsel of the GriefShare program can be really beneficial, including some well-known names from different segments of the Christian counseling world. On the DVDs, there are also people who share their own grief journeys.
"One of things that I have learned, is that grief can mess with your head, and it does mess with your head a lot," shared Cookston. "It can cause you to make foolish decisions and can trigger despair and depression. Having some people you can share with and having the prayers and counsel that comes through the DVDs and reading is really good. We have people who actually gone through it twice."
He added that there are more than a dozen Christian counselors who contribute on the DVDs about their own grief experiences. The sessions will begin on Sept. 14 and will be held Monday each week at 1 p.m. at Prineville Community Church.
"We really see this as a great way to be a blessing to our community and a way to love the citizens of our community and to help them."
GriefShare will begin meeting Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. at Prineville Community Church. It will be held on Mondays thereafter for 13 weeks.
Prineville Community Church is located at 520 NE Elm St., Prineville, OR 97754
Call Prineville Community Church at 541-447-6315 to register.
Participants are welcome to begin attending the GriefShare group at any point. Each session is self-contained. To learn more, go to:
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.