by Paul Gauche
During the Staff Sabbatical week, Nancy Lee and I were out hiking part of the Superior Hiking Trail. We were two days into our five days of backcountry bliss between Grand Marias and Hovland, Minnesota when we arrived at the Kadunce River Campsite and were greeted by other hiking party-a husband and wife with whom we’d share the site for the night.
As we sat with them around the campfire later that evening, the conversation finally got around to where we were from and what we all do when we’re not hiking through the woods. That, for me, is usually the beginning of the end of the conversation. “I’m a pastor in a Lutheran Church in Burnsville, Minnesota” is usually met with a blank stare and an awkward silence. But I decided to press into it. “I’m a pastor in a Lutheran Church in Burnsville, Minnesota,” I said.
The husband looked back at the fire, but his wife looked me and asked, “Oh really, which one?” “Prince of Peace,” I said. There was a pause, and then she said, “Your grief group ministry at Prince of Peace saved my mom’s life.”
I was stunned. Keep in mind how far into the wilderness we were at that moment as I looked back at her with a blank stare and an awkward silence. “Tell me more, please!” I said.
That’s when she told me that she lost her dad just over 7 years ago and her mom was just lost. She encouraged her mom to find some grief support and that’s when they found Prince of Peace and the grief groups that meet each Monday night. She told me that they were part of the group for about a year which gave her mom the kind of support and encouragement she need to continue thriving in life. “Thank you for your ministry and please thank the people who lead the grief groups at Prince of Peace for all they do!”
You just never know how a life is going to be transformed through what we do together at and through Prince of Peace. Providing for ministries like the grief groups is privilege we all share. So thanks for joining me in thanking God for remarkable moments like this. Thanks for coming along on the great hike of life together in this place!
Paul Gauche is Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace
If you would like to know more about Prince of Peace’s grief support group or any of our other support groups, visit our support group page.