"Embracing God's Future without Forgetting the Past"

Nostalgia: A Psychological Resource by Clay Routledge

Coach Yourself Through Grief: Applying Coaching Principles to your Grief Journey by Dr. Don Eisenhauer

Before and After Loss: A Neurologist's Perspective on Loss, Grief, and Our Brain by Lisa M. Shulman


"Many congregations today are dealing with changes that have led to decline and significant loss. In Embracing God's Future without Forgetting the Past, Michael K. Girlinghouse argues that until a congregation comes to terms with its perceived losses through a healthy process of grief, it will be paralyzed in the present and unable to think creatively about the future. Acknowledging and expressing grief will give the congregation the courage to redefine its relationship with the past and draw strength and encouragement from its memories as it steps into the future."

We learned from Bishop Mike Girlinghouse, who draws on his 35+ years of ministry experience and shared examples from his book to show us how to work through loss and grief in congregational and ministry settings.

Rev. Mike Girlinghouse has served as Bishop of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod since July of 2011. Prior to being called to serve as Bishop, he was Pastor of University Lutheran Church in Norman, OK, and Campus Pastor for the University of Oklahoma. Ordained in 1987, he has served as a parish pastor, campus pastor, and in congregations in transition or in need of a substitute pastor. Bishop Girlinghouse has also served as an instructor at two universities, teaching courses in Death and Dying and World Religion. He was born in Milwaukee, WI, attended college at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN, and seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Bishop Girlinghouse is married and has one adult daughter. He loves to cook, is a writer, and plays trombone and the djembe drum.

We invite you to bring a spirit of curiosity to these gatherings and to all aspects of your life. What are you noticing? Where is Spirit moving? How are you being invited to participate?