Grief Support

Grief Support Ministry

The Grief Support Ministry team provides a personal presence and caring outreach to Westminster members, friends, and their families when there is a death in the family. It offers a welcoming, helpful presence during funerals and memorial services. To this end, the team:

  • Prepares the sanctuary/chapel for funeral/memorial services by greeting family members, answering any questions guests have, and making family and friends comfortable and feel welcome during a difficult time.
  • Represents Westminster, when possible, at memorial services held places other than the church.
  • Plans and arranges the December Candlelight Service of Remembrance and dinner.

The Grief Support Ministry team welcomes new members at any time. Email committee chairs Mary Koenke or Mary Johnson to learn more.

During this time of social distancing most memorial services will be held at a later date when we are able to be together again in person. Until that day comes, the team invites your prayers that Westminster’s Grief Ministry team can continue to help families who are grieving the loss of loved ones.

Downtown Coalition for Grief Support

Nine downtown Minneapolis churches comprise the Downtown Coalition for Grief Support, including Westminster. The churches take turns hosting grief support meetings every Saturday morning. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are offering online sessions using Zoom every Saturday morning. For more information visit the group’s website or call: 612-317-3454.

The Coalition provides these weekly sessions for grieving adults by:

  • Providing a speaker who is either a professional in the field of grief counseling, or someone who is sharing a personal story of loss and recovery after the death of a loved one.
  • Dividing the participants into groups—led by trained volunteer facilitators—for three types of loss: spouse/partner, family/friend, and child.
  • Maintaining a library of books on the subject of grieving.

While everyone responds to grief in different ways, at different paces, one thing remains constant: the ongoing support of family, friends, and those who understand loss helps us heal.


Rev. David Tsai Shinn
Associate Pastor for Congregational Care

Deb Wagner
Administrative Assistant

© Westminster Presbyterian Church | 2021