Sunday, April 20, 2014
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A widows group visits Portland Head Light in a program organized by the East Auburn Baptist Church.
Nancy Gagne helped organize a conference this weekend in Auburn to offer training and networking for widows and volunteers working with them.
WHAT: "Making the Widow's Heart Sing," featuring international speakers and authors CarolMarie Smith and Judith Nichols Moore.
WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: East Auburn Baptist Church, 560 Park Ave., Auburn
COST: $25 per person. Group rates are $25 for first person and $10 for each additional person.
MORE: Hourly workshops Saturday on how to begin a widows ministry and related programming on finances, support groups, elder abuse, grief sharing and more.
Joanne Blue, 72, of Turner is a prime example. Widowed since 1993 after 34 years of marriage, Blue has been a member of the widows ministry since its inception and cites her affiliation with the group for helping her get back into life.
In the past several years, Blue has been doing her part to fulfill that same biblical mandate to care for orphans during faith-based trips to Turkey, India and Nigeria.
Marie Howard, mother of Pastor Tim Howard, also found the group to be an essential part of her healing process.
For Howard, the hardest part of widowhood, after 47 years of marriage, came at the end of each day, when she would return home to an empty house and an empty bed.
"That was so difficult," said Marie Howard. "I did everything to avoid bedtime, busying myself with paperwork or other things until I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open."
"This ministry is just what I needed," she said. "Not every outing is for everyone, but this group offers us all a place to connect and bond by what we have in common. I think this is something every church should offer and the convention is a good starting point to find out how."
Staff Writer Deborah Sayer can be contacted at 791-6308 or at: