Questions about the program?

Contact the Rev. Sarah Shirley at

Need help with registration? Contact

Diocese of Southern Virginia 
Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia 

Grief Recovery Handbook Study 

Beginning in October 2020, a six-week Grief Recovery Handbook Study will be offered via Zoom.

Grief Recovery defines grief as the normal and natural human response to change. For better or worse, change involves loss. We’re pretty good at celebrating adding things to our lives, and not so good at routinely cleansing, healing, or processing things when we experience change, particularly when it involves loss. The experience of life during COVID, the death of a beloved human or pet, change in job, home, school, partner, health or economic status all cause grief. Grief Recovery provides simple action steps to become a cleansing/healing machine and live a lighter, happier life. This study will also give you new skills in responding to losses in others’ lives and can be the foundation or expansion of a healing ministry in your parish.

Three opportunities to participate

There will be three opportunities to participate in this study, which will be held via Zoom:

  • Weekend: 4 to 5:30 pm Sundays (October 4, 11, 18, 25 and November 1, 8)
  • Evening: 6 to 7:30 pm Tuesdays (October 6, 13, 20, 27 and November 3, 10)
  • Daytime: 8:15 to 9:45 am Thursdays (October 8, 15, 22, 29 and November 5, 12)

How to participate

Register below for your preferred time/day (You can switch to a different time/day or make up missed classes with another group). Participants will need to purchase “The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition – The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, Faith” by John W. James and Russell Friedman (available on Amazon). Participants will receive weekly class outlines via email, do assigned readings, attend Zoom classes and, if you desire, be assigned a listening partner with whom you can do the Grief Recovery exercises at mutually convenient times.


The study will be facilitated by the Rev. Sarah Shirley, interim rector of St. Luke’s in Powhatan and a Grief Recovery Outreach Specialist who helps grievers (everybody) feel better and have more fun. She was certified as a specialist by the Handbook’s co-author John James in 2004, and since then has taught Grief Recovery in multi-week book studies, weekend retreats, and one-on-one in the U.S., Mexico, and Afghanistan. This will be her first workshop in the Cloud!


There is no cost for the study except the purchase of the book. Book scholarships are available. Contact if you need a book scholarship. Questions about the program? Contact the Rev. Sarah Shirley at