Grief, Mourning and Compassion

Horizon Weekly | 12 November 2020

By Lynda Blazina
As most in our Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC) family of churches have heard, this week was a tough one for us all. We lost a friend, teacher, mentor, colleague and brother in Christ when Dan Morgan passed away on November 4 due to COVID-19 complications. (Click here to read Dan's obituary) Dan had served during his ten years in Canada as the CNBC Church Planting Team Leader and as our Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College (CSBS&C) Professor of Church Planting.

The CSBS&C posted the following on Facebook:

Dan was a tremendous gift from God to our learning community. God gifted him with a keen and strategic mind, a winsome spirit, a generous and gracious heart, and a genuine and warm presence (often reflected in his smile). We are all incalculably richer for having spent a decade together with him in ministry. He was loved dearly and will be sorely missed.
Jesus says in Matthew 5:4, Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
The word mourn used in this verse is the Greek word penthountes, which comes from the word for grief, penthéō. Although these words are heavily linked, there is a difference between grief and mourning.
Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD, says the following in his article Grieving vs. Mourning:

Grief is the constellation of internal thoughts and feelings we have when someone we love dies. Think of grief as the container. It holds your thoughts, feelings, and images of your experience when someone you love dies. In other words, grief is the internal meaning given to the experience of loss.

Mourning is when you take the grief you have on the inside and express it outside yourself. Another way of defining mourning is “grief gone public” or “the outward expression of grief.” There is no one right or only way to mourn. Talking about the person who died, crying, expressing your thoughts and feelings through art or music, journaling, praying, and celebrating special anniversary dates that held meaning for the person who died are just a few examples of mourning. Making the choice to not just grieve but authentically mourn provides you with the courage and confidence to integrate the death of someone loved into your life.

I have come to believe that to heal your grief, you must mourn it.

Going back to Matthew, I believe that it is important that we not only grieve but find ways to mourn. Like so many teachings in scripture, the blessing comes in the working out of our inner thoughts, emotions and faith. In this case, comfort comes when we put physicality to our grief. We all experience grief but culturally we are not very versed in mourning.

I would encourage you, if you are experiencing grief during this time of heightened isolation and loneliness, to find a way to express your grief publicly—to mourn.  God has promised His comfort to you.

Dan's wife, Melanie, invites those who knew Dan to join them online for his celebration of life, and in their process of mourning.

Dan Morgan was connected to and loved by hundreds of people all around North America and the world. His children have all gathered at his home in Tulsa; we will hold a home celebration of Dan Morgan's life on Saturday, November 14. We deeply wish to be near you all but because of the clear risk inherent in travelling and gathering right now, we ask you to gather together only locally instead of expanding the group of people you're in contact with. Please join us via YouTube for the service.

(Click here to access Dan's celebration of life service) 

In lieu of flowers, the Morgan family is asking people to send donations via Go Fund Me.
(Click here to access the Morgan Go Fund Me page)


Compassion Project for Cuba

Due to the serious food shortage crisis in Cuba, Evangel Chinese Baptist Church in Edmonton, Alberta is initiating a compassion project with our Cuban partners. Evangel has been active in ministering with our partners in Cuba for a long time and has sent teams that have blessed them over the years. This is a project that all our churches across Canada can join in to do something tangible with our ministry partners in Cuba. Please pray for Cuba and help them financially if you can.

Queues for food in Cuba

$20 Cdn provides a food package that includes:

1. rice (5 lbs)
2. quarter chickens (5)
3. beans (5 lbs)
4. oil

Each food package can supplement a family of four for a month.

If you would like to take part in this compassion project, you can e-transfer by clicking here or send a cheque to:

Evangel Baptist Church
1204 Ellwood Road SW
Edmonton, AB
T6X 0B2


Cheques should be made payable to Evangel Baptist Church with Compassion Project for Cuba in the memo area.

Deadline: November 22, 2020

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act (Proverbs 3:27).

Do you have a story you would like to share? Please contact Lynda Blazina and let her know. We would love to share your stories with our CNBC family of churches.

CNBC Weekly Horizon
National Ministry Leader: Gerry Taillon 
Editor: Lynda Blazina
French Translation: Baker Hill    


CNBC Mission: We are churches in covenant giving ourselves away to advance the Kingdom.

CNBC Vision: 1000 healthy, Kingdom-focused churches.