Dr. Ira North, probably best known for his lengthy ministry with the old Madison church in Middle Tennessee, recommended to churches that wanted to grow to go “all out” for young people. I agreed with that when I first read it in his book and still believe he was “spot on.” One of the effective ministries that has been blessing our youth for decades has been youth meetings (of various sorts). They complement the efforts of conscientious parents to train their children in the way they should go (Prov. 22:6). Parents and churches have cooperated to host such events, provide transportation and in some cases even housing.
Why not a Widow/Widower Retreat to build faith and provide encouragement to those who have gone through the excruciating loss of their spouse? Why can’t families and churches work together to provide this kind of experience for those of their number who are trying to do life after loss? A “youth meeting” for the widowed! Those were the kinds of reflections that led the Widowhood Workshop ministry to host its first-ever retreat in August of 2018.
Last year’s retreat brought together over 70 widows and widowers from 14 different counties in Tennessee and eight different states. Attendees ranged in age from their 30’s to 90’s. They represented 2,414 years of marriage and 408 years of widowhood. Our exit surveys indicated it was overwhelmingly successful. Again, the LaVergne (TN) church of Christ (Rutherford County) is graciously permitting the Widowhood Workshop ministry to use their building to host our second retreat August 2-3, 2019.
We have a responsibility to care for those in unusually difficult life circumstances (Ja. 1:27; 2:15; cf., Mt. 25:31-46; 1 Jhn. 3:17-18). What are we doing for the widowed? Can we do more?
For more information on the upcoming retreat click the link below. www.widowhoodworkshop.com/retreat