Grief Support

The Bible teaches us about the love of God for the world he created from beginning to end.  We know the familiar words from John 3:16: "For God so loved the world. . ."  And we confess that God is love (1 John 4:8).  One of God's mysterious and wonderful gifts is that we too may know love.  We give love.  We receive love.  From the moment we're born to the moment we die, we give and receive love.  And while this doesn't always happen that easily, and there are all sorts of bumps along the way, we are given glimpses into the depths of God's love in Christ as we enjoy the gift of love with the people in our lives.  It is a sad irony that the greatest pain we may feel is when someone we love so deeply dies.  The relationship that brought so much joy now brings much pain. 

We at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church have made a commitment to caring for people who are going through the wilderness of grief after the death of a loved one.  This commitment comes out of a need in our community, and it comes out of our love for those around us.  We have a desire to help those in need, to walk alongside them, and to assist them in moving out of the darkness of grief and into the light of continued living with hope and love. 

Currently we provide the the following services and resources for grieving people or caregivers:

  • We co-facilitate a grief and loss support group with Community Links (find registration information HERE).
  • We offer occasional 8-week support groups for general losses (find information HERE)
  • We offer occasional 8-week support groups for miscarriage losses (find information HERE)
  • Our pastor, Rev Darren Dressler, is available for one-on-one pastoral counselling (with a focus on grief) or for presentations and workshops
    • Darren Dressler is Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement (see for more information on this credential) and has received a Certificate in Death and Grief Studies from the Center For Loss and Life Transition (
What have people said about their experience in our grief support groups?

“I am grateful and blessed to have been invited to this group at a very dark time in my life.  I will forever be grateful for being able to go through this journey with my group.”

"It helped me realize some of the pressure [from others] to pretend everything was okay."

"This group gave me a life back, a chance to be happy again."

"[This group] has afforded me a process to make sense of my feelings and offer expectations for what is to come."

"This group has been a blessing in a very painful jouney."

"[This experience] has helped me to release a lot of anxiety, and I was able to tell my story which relieved a lot of weight off my shoulders."

"The biggest impact [of this group experience] was bringing out the ability to discuss my grief and pain."

"It's the best thing I have done for myself."


What have people said about Pastor Darren's group leadership?

"I enjoyed Pastor Darren's calm and peaceful style.  It made me feel safe."

"Darren was very compassionate and always kind and very understanding.  He was very helpful in many ways."

"Darren is a very caring and compassionate leader, fair in providing everyone time and opportunity to share and open up about their grief.  His support has meant the world to me."

"Caring and responsive - I appreciated how he was able to summarize, and make contributions from participants relevant and timely."

"Excellent, calm, very knowledgeable, compassionate."

"Very informed and understanding.  Listens and remembers."

"Very well spoken, patient, compassionate, down to earth!"

"Very professional, kind-hearted, gentle, and understanding."

"Darren was just excellent in explaining different ways things may be perceived.  Very pleasant to be around.  Always cheerful and you left the session feeling good."