The purpose of this project was to determine how much time pastors spent on bereavement care, and how lay people within their churches might effectively meet those needs. The research was conducted in two parts. First, a study was conducted within a local ministerial association. Survey questions were designed to ascertain whether the pastors were engaged in intentional bereavement care and what their interest level might be if a program were available to train their members in bereavement care.
Second, laymen attending a six hour workshop responded to a pre-workshop survey addressing the essential skills needed to offer bereavement care. Workshop participants were also given a post-workshop survey to measure whether adequate learning about grief aftercare took place.
The project was limited to some degree by the size of the ministerial association polled. This group met in rural North Idaho, where the author formerly pastored. The author originally scheduled two workshops in order to test the effectiveness of the workshop presentation. The first, scheduled for August 9,1996, was canceled after the author’s motorhome burned to the ground on August 8, 1996. The second workshop was conducted on August 16-17, 1996. House of the Lord, Oldtown Idaho, hosted the workshop. Eleven members participated in the workshop.