Our ministry helps adults and children work through their grief, be healed and transformed, and love again after the end of a marriage - their own or their parents' - whether due to separation, divorce or death. This loss shakes us to our very core, changes our identity, and ends life as we knew it. This ministry is listening and accompanying those grieving. We accomplish this purpose by offering quality, copyrighted, grief resolution programs presented by trained peer ministers.
There are more than tens of thousands who have benefitted from attending a Beginning Experience weekend. This ministry, while approaching its 50th anniversary, continues to have nearly 30 teams throughout the United States and Canada. There are also Beginning Experience teams abroad in Europe and Asia.
The adult programs include:
The programs for children are:
My first Beginning Experience weekend came after the death of my husband of 23 years. I struggled with depression for over 7 years before deciding I would try going to a weekend that my friend had recommended. The Beginning Experience weekend literally saved my life. Because it was so life changing for me, I continue to pay it forward. A few years later I then went to a Young People's Beginning Experience as a participant - as my mother passed away when I was 18 and my father when I was 22. That weekend helped me with a lot of issues I had been holding on to from their deaths so many years ago. I wish I would have know about this ministry when my children were young. I have teamed as an adult on many youth weekends and have watched first hand as young people, who come to a weekend not knowing how to deal with their feelings, transform in front of my eyes. As this ministry is a non-profit and so needed to help hurting youth, I ask that you please consider opening your hearts today to give a young person hope again. Thank you and may God Bless you.
"I lost my wife of 49 years to cancer. Afterwards, the pain I felt was overwhelming. I continued to work to fill my days, but when I returned home in the evening, the loneliness crept back in. It was much like a heavy fog that rolls in off the ocean-so thick that you can’t tell where you are or which way to turn. I had to do something.
A notice appeared in our Sunday bulletin with details regarding “Beginning Experience”. Although I was apprehensive, I decided to go to see what Beginning Experience was about. I soon learned that everyone there, even the facilitators, had suffered the tragedy of the death of a spouse or the heartbreak of a failed marriage.
I decided to sign up for the retreat they talked about. The weekend was the best thing that could have happened to me. I learned that I was not alone in my grief. I could share as much or as little as I chose. If I cried, someone comforted me. The remoteness of the camp setting was the ideal place to learn how to deal with my loss. I now volunteer my time as a facilitator.