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What families need

Families turn to their church and their clergy at these difficult moments of loss. The question is, what do they need and how can we best support them?

Let’s begin by listening to an interaction between a couple who has experienced a loss and their pastor. As you listen, put yourself in their shoes and use the questions that follow to think about what you are hearing. (Click below to launch the audio clip in another tab. Close the tab to return to the curriculum when the clip is over.)

Pastor with Grieving Family

  1. What did you like about how the pastor handled the situation?
  2. What would you think he could have done differently?
  3. How do you think the mother was feeling during this interaction? The father?
  4. How do you think the pastor was feeling?
  5. If there were things the pastor could have done better, why do you think he handled the situation as he did?
  6. How do you think this interaction affected how the mother and father felt about their church? Their belief and faith? Their pastor?
  7. What can clergy do to be effective in supporting grieving families?


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