Mourning Our Losses Together During COVID-19:
The Good News of Biblical Lament
Tuesday, July 21, 2–3 p.m. EDT
Health. Employment. Weddings. Gathered worship. Graduations. The “list of losses” during this global COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow. Some people respond by bottling up their emotions, while others sink into despair. This webinar is for those experiencing loss and for caregivers journeying with people impacted by such realities. We will explore the three-act movement of biblical lament as a faithful response to God and its use in both individual and corporate settings. You can find the recorded webinar below.
A facilitator's guide for the webinar is also available: Download the facilitator's guide.
Bob Yoder, D.Min., Advancement Associate, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary: Bob has served for nearly 25 years in congregational, conference, camp and college ministry settings. He also has been Assistant Professor of Youth Ministry at Goshen (Indiana) College and an adjunct professor at AMBS. In 2007 he completed his doctoral project, which was later published as Helping Youth Grieve: The Good News of Biblical Lament (Resource Publications, 2015).
Pamela Yoder, M.Div., Pastor for Community Life and Pastoral Care, College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Indiana: Pamela has served for 18 years as a congregational pastor in two different Mennonite congregations. She is currently in her 10th year on the pastoral team at College Mennonite Church. She offers leadership for the congregation’s Stephen Ministry, a visitation and care team, bereavement care, reentry ministry and other caregiving volunteers.
Bob and Pamela are both ordained pastors in Mennonite Church USA. They have been married to each other for 19 years and live in Goshen with their two children.
Why biblical lament?
Bob: “I believe laments are some of the richest, deepest, most intimate expressions of prayer found in the Bible. Through lament, God invites us to be honest and to fully engage our emotions, reminding us that God has broad enough shoulders to handle them and is ever present with us. I believe biblical lament is ‘Good News’ in the way Jesus enacted his gospel salvation. It offers us genuine hope for today, tomorrow and the months and years to come.
“I hope webinar participants will gain a greater understanding of the kind of relationship they can have with God and will truly know that God cares and wants to hear their honest selves in these times. I hope pastors and others who walk with people in their painful journeys will be empowered and equipped with new insights for how to help those they care for.”
Pamela: “‘You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy’ (Psalm 30:11). Laments allow us not only to name, express or recall times of raw and real pain and suffering but also to remember God’s presence and care amidst even the loneliest and bleakest of times. Lament signifies a trusting relationship with God and can deepen that relationship. Biblical lament is also a powerful form of intercessory prayer.
“As we engage with biblical lament together, my hope is that participants will discover (or discover anew) that our Creator expects to hear not only our joy, faithfulness and praise but also our deepest despair, anger, doubt and more. Though God may weep alongside us as we cry out in lament, God is the most equipped to receive and handle such cries.”
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