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Friends through life and death

“Be a friend. Bring a friend.”

That’s the motto of a new fellowship group for widows and widowers at Faith, Fond du Lac, Wis. Dave Seibel, a member at Faith, helped start the group after his wife passed away in October 2021. Now 25 widows and widowers ranging in age from their 50s to 90s meet monthly for a meal, devotion, and presentation.

But perhaps the most important thing happening at those get-togethers is Christian friendship. Members share stories, listen to one another, and offer support and encouragement. “Being there for each other has been a huge blessing,” says Seibel. “You can’t describe the loneliness felt after losing a spouse to someone, but we all know it and have felt what each other has gone through. We can talk to each other about things that people who haven’t lost a spouse will never understand.”

He continues, “[After my wife died], having other people who have been through it and either figuratively or literally put their arms around you and give you a hug, it’s just fantastic. They assure you that you can go on by yourself, but they’re there if you need them.”

Sharing the same faith offers group members added comfort and reassurance—something a local community-based program can’t provide. “The pure gospel message is there,” says Seibel. “We all know our loved ones are in heaven—their pain and suffering are gone.”

Michael Weigand, pastor at Faith, sees the blessings from this new group. “Having a lay-led widows and widowers group has made a profound impact on our ministry to those who are hurting after loss,” he says. “It has even opened up doors for outreach as people keep bringing friends. I am truly grateful for individuals from this group who have talked with me and shared some specific ways in which we pastors can more effectively minister to those who have lost loved ones.”

Pictured above are members of the group eating lunch together after attending church at Faith, Fond du Lac, Wis.

Author: Forward in Christ
Volume: 110, Number 02
Issue: February 2023

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