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13-week DivorceCare Group

Wednesdays @ 6 pm
Sept. 6 – Dec. 6
Room 101

“Divorce is a major life-threatening event….[T]he central threat is to the individual’s very existence, his humanity.” In The Broken Heart: The Medical Consequences of Divorce, James J. Lynch writes about how the event affecting about 50% of marriages in America can lead to an early death. Many can relate to his statement based on their experience. Divorce is a reality, and those experiencing it
need support.

With the help of a 13-week videobased program developed by, the public health issues of loneliness can be addressed, emotional support provided to grieving individuals, and a dialogue begun on a subject that is often hushed. This program will provide practical tools for coping and point people to Christ for healing and hope.

John and Hope Schwab will lead the group, which starts Wednesday, September 6, and will meet from 6- 7:30 p.m. in Room 101. Participants who are going through a divorce, have previously divorced, or are currently separated are welcome to join the group at any time.

Getting together in a group in a safe environment built on trust is essential for those experiencing divorce, and the healing tradition of the church is a great place to start.

Loneliness often follows divorce because an intimate partner is now gone. Although grieving is a natural process with any loss, divorce is unique because the former partner is often still in a person’s life as a coparent. All the relationships that existed before divorce are subsequently adjusted; separations start to further distance one from the support of family, friends and community.

Divorce can be a difficult time, and studies show that, when compared to married couples, a real, verifiable medical change occurs in the body of a person experiencing divorce, leading to preliminary death. Both James Lynch and Vivek Murthy, MD, Vice Admiral Surgeon General, have—decades apart—studied the medical consequences of loneliness and find that human connection is essential to life. Emotional support is essential to the recovery in any loss, and family may not be available in divorce.

“Dialogue is the elixir of life; without it, we cannot survive.” Lynch studied many different ways humans connect, and he concludes that we need each other in direct communication. Talking about divorce can help nurse a person back to emotional and spiritual health. What better place for such a transformation than in the halls of a church?

John and Hope Schwab have been FPC members since spring 2022. Since then, they have enjoyed volunteering as greeters, being involved in Helping Hands meal preparation and leading a Lenten small group. They were honored to have had their wedding in the Sanctuary in November 2022. They both have a heart for ministering to people experiencing separation and divorce and look forward to bringing the DivorceCare ministry to FPC this fall.