For Pastors or Pastoral Care Staff:
Consoling Grace Outreach Program Components
"What a beautiful outreach for the church!"
- outreach recipient
Consoling Grace offers a variety of excellent illness and grief outreach choices, all of which are tailor-made, replicable, and easy-to-use.
The beauty of Consoling Grace is that all program components, education, and training are already provided: all a church need do to begin is have a small team of volunteers willing to be trained - and the rest will follow in due time.
For instance, a faith community interested in augmenting or expanding ministry to the ill and grieving in their congregation can choose from several options, starting with Community Education or Homebound Ministry, continuing with Serious Illness Support, and extending to the Beginning or Advanced or Grief Outreach.
What follows is a summary of Consoling Grace program services.
- Community Education Presentations: Educating the wider faith-community is a key way to build support for seriously ill, dying, and bereaved persons and their caregivers. Consoling Grace offers a variety of practical, dynamic, faith-filled educational forums, including "Good Grief: Tips for Friends and Relatives," "How Can I Help? A Guide to Compassion-in-action," among others. See 'Educational Programs' for a full listing of 1.5 hour presentations to choose from.
- Homebound Minister Update: It is not uncommon for homebound ministers to feel uncomfortable visiting ill, dying, and grieving persons because they lack the specific skills to properly support those to whom they minister. Many worry that they might accidentally say the wrong thing or hurt someone's feelings. This 2.5 hour workshop gives homebound ministers and others the basic information and tools to minister effectively to the homebound. Includes a 30 page handout, "Tips for homebound ministers: How to Provide Care and Support."
- Community Outreach During Serious Illness: This training seminar is composed of 5 hours, focusing especially on the "how to" aspects of providing support for people who are seriously ill or dying. The interactive seminar includes the nuts and bolts for building an effective community outreach for any church or faith community. Effective caregiving tips are provided, along with community outreach do's and don'ts, including techniques for burn-out prevention and volunteer support.
Each volunteer is provided with a copy of the Consoling Grace Outreach Manual, including the 80 page Volunteer's Guide to Providing Support during Serious Illness and the Guide for Care and Support during Serious Illness. These excellent resources include information on home visitation, differing cultural and ethnic practices during illness and death, and details for effective caregiver support. Also included are one year's templates for Quarterly Illness and Caregiver Support Letters, reflections, and informational attachments.
- Beginning Grief Outreach: Includes both basic training and support letters.
- Basic Volunteer Training: This 5 hour team-building seminar, together with the monthly grief support letters below, covers all the up-to-date grief information, program materials, and operational know-how needed to start a basic grief outreach, including the Consoling Grace Guide to Grief Support.
- Monthly Grief Support Letters: All too often, sadly, traditional grief supports ends with the funeral. But the process of grieving the death of a loved one lasts for months or years. The monthly support letters, which are sent from the church to grieving congregants, form the core of an extended grief support program. The letters are carefully crafted based on a comprehensive review of grief literature and on the author's 20 years of caring for thousands of dying people and their grieving families.
"Thank you for writing such a beautiful letter - it is the first time I felt the church understood."
- a grief outreach recipient
- The unique grief outreach includes, in a binder and on disc, a set of 15 prewritten, monthly grief-support letters, 15 informational pieces aimed at particular phases of grief, and an added 15 individualized prayer reflections.
Note: Because the Monthly Grief Support Letters are designed to be implemented in tandem with either the Basic or Advanced Volunteer Training Seminar, the letters are not available separately.
- Advanced Outreach Training Seminar -- Includes Serious Illness AND Grief Support. Includes advanced training for serious illness and grief support, quarterly illness support letters, and monthly grief support letters.
- Advanced Staff and/or Volunteer Training Seminar: Designed for churches who would like to implement one-to-one support, along with pre-written, grace-filled letters, and an overall program of loving support, to assist ill and grieving congregants and their caregivers.
8 program hours include a 6 hour seminar and 2 hours of 'nuts and bolts' training. It is recommended for 'seasoned' volunteers and staff.
Included with the advanced program is the full 200 page Guide to Providing Support during Illness and Grief, the Monthly Grief Support Letters, as well as the Quarterly Illness and Caregiving Support Letter Series.
- Guide for Care and Support During Serious Illness: We recommend that churches reproduce this excellent 100 page resource and provide it to those who have been recently diagnosed with a serious illness, those who have been struggling with illness for some time, or those who provide care for an ill relative or friend.
- Quarterly Illness and Caregiving Support letters: These warm and practical letters, prayer-filled reflections, and informational attachments are designed to be sent quarterly to any parishioner who is struggling with serious illness and/or to their caregivers.
- Monthly Grief Support Letters: The monthly support letters, which are sent from the parish to grieving parishioners, form the core of an extended grief support program. The letters are carefully crafted based on a comprehensive review of grief literature and on the author's 20 years of caring for thousands of dying people and their grieving families.
- Grief Outreach Letter Support includes, in a binder and on disc, a set of 15 prewritten, monthly grief-support letters, 15 informational pieces aimed at particular phases of grief, and an added 15 individualized prayer reflections.
Note: The quarterly and monthly Support Letters Series is designed to be implemented in tandem with either the Basic or Advanced Volunteer Training. Neither the Quarterly Illness and Caregiving Support letters, nor the Monthly Grief Support Letters are available separately.
We would be delighted to discuss our services and fees with you directly. Please call Consoling Grace at 206-366-2715 or email us at email@example.com.
No congregation will be turned away due to inability to pay for various program components. If finances are a concern, please contact Consoling Grace and ask us regarding possible financial aid packages and variable fee-payment-schedules.