Are you ready to amplify your community’s influence?

Caring for people when they’re grieving is awkward if you don’t know what to do or say.

Dr. Ed Fontaine, Senior Pastor, Springvale Church, ON.

The key to building a dynamic community is caring for the broken-hearted with empathy and compassion.

Would grieving people honestly describe your church as a caring community?

Most well-meaning men and women feel uncertain about how to support those who grieve. Fear of doing the wrong thing can paralyze you from doing anything.

Even many pastors feel unsure.

Before the loss of my son, I mistakenly believed that grief was mostly a private matter. I thought I had nothing meaningful to offer grieving friends.

No one should grieve alone. The bereaved need a caring, supportive community where they feel seen, heard, and loved.

My goal with the Hope Heroes course is to inspire you with ideas I’ve learned from my caring grief companions.

What a joy it is to help remove the burden of uncertainty from people’s shoulders, clarify their role as a Hope Hero and hear stories of impact from those who take action.

With 2 hours of content organized into 5 easy-to-digest videos, the course provides you with quick wins. Simple yet effective concepts to practically express empathy are actionable for anyone aged 9 – 99.

Ontario friends

On a recent visit to Ontario, I cherished my time with long-time friends, including Crystal and Ed Fontaine.

Ed is the Sr. Pastor of Springvale Church in Stouffville. As a seasoned ministry leader, Ed has officiated hundreds of funerals and he’s personally familiar with significant loss.

In our recent conversation, Ed’s positive comments about the Hope Heroes Course caught my attention.

In fact, I stopped Ed mid-sentence, ran to get my phone and just had to capture Ed’s words on video to share with you.

Join Ed and me on his backyard patio for 2 minutes.


Listen as Ed describes the impact of the Hope Heroes Course. His last story may surprise you.

Share the clip or this entire blog post with your pastor or ministry leader. Please and thank you.

Here’s some of what Ed shared:

The Hope Heroes course helped me understand somebody in grief and how they need to be cared for and listened to. And how talking about grief actually helps them.

I just did what you said.

Now I have quite a ministry of prayer and texting people as they are going through grief. It’s amazing the responses that I get back.

“Ohhh, that someone cares. That you are thinking of me, and you are praying, is so helpful.”

I’ve taken the course. All my staff have taken the course. Our Life group’s leaders have to take the course.

I’ve even shared it with non-Christian friends.

Some of them have said to me, “Ed, this has been so helpful.”

Bill, a golf pro, he uses this all the time. He’s not a believer!

He talks to people who are grieving, listens to them and gets incredible responses.

While on vacation in Hawaii, Bill and his wife met a couple playing pickleball. Never met them before. Doing the small talk, Bill asked how many kids they had. The couple revealed they had two, but their son had died years earlier.

Bill didn’t change the subject or shy away.

He turned to the grieving mom. “Tell me about your son who died.”

She broke down in tears and said,

“In 13 years, you are the first person who has ever asked me about my son.”

How can you go through life losing a kid and… have no Hope Heroes?

Friends, let this inspire you to take action. Notice the hurting. Every day, people desperately need your expressions of empathy and compassion.

Because Pastor Ed leveraged the Hope Hero course for himself, his friends and church family, hurting hearts are experiencing the healing impact of being seen, heard, and loved.

Let’s be the reason a grieving soul believes God cares for them. Choose to be a Hope Hero. Amplify your influence.

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Shirley Thiessen

Author and speaker helping you bring hope to broken, grieving hearts.