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Emmanuel Hospice Helps Hosts Powerful Interfaith Memorial Event

Emmanuel Hospice, along with three other hospice providers and the Kaufman Interfaith Institute of Grand Valley State University will hold a special communitywide, interfaith memorial event on Thursday, Sept. 10 in Grand Rapids. The memorial event titled “We Remember” is designed to allow those who have lost a loved one to come together, share memories and honor a special family member or friend.  The event is open to the public, and all ages are welcome. Sign language interpreter will be available.

The evening begins with a memorial service at 6 p.m. at the Dominican Center at Marywood where attendees are encouraged to bring a photo or other small item of memorabilia to honor their loved one during an interfaith service.

From 7-8 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on memorial activities, including:

  • Planting a flower along a reflective path at the Dominican Center, 2025 Fulton Street E.
  • Decorating and flying a kite as part of Hospice of Michigan’s annual Fly & Remember
  • Taking a reflective nature walk on the beautiful grounds of the Dominican Center, 2025 Fulton Street E.
  • Walking an indoor labyrinth, which reflects the challenges and confusion that often comes with grieving a loved one

Attendees can choose to attend either part or all of the evening, which runs from 6-8 p.m.  In the event of inclement weather, alternative arrangements have been made for indoor activities.

“The entire community is welcome to join in an evening of sharing memories and celebrating the legacies of our loved ones,” said Douglas Kindschi, director of the Kaufman Institute.  “At a special event last year, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell proclaimed 2015 as the Year of Interfaith Service in our community.  “We Remember” is one of the many activities that have grown out of that proclamation, allowing the Kaufman Interfaith Institute to partner with four local hospice organizations to offer a communitywide memorial service.

“It is our hope that the event will become an annual gathering that will give our community a way to remember those special people in our lives who have died.”

As a response to Mayor Heartwell’s proclamation, the Kaufman Interfaith Institute created a Service Council that meets monthly and includes interfaith activists and advocates from several faith communities as well as the secular community.  As members of the Service Council, the four local hospice providers offer grief support to those in the community who are experiencing a loss.

This event marks the first time that local hospice providers and the Kaufman Institute have worked in collaboration on an event.  For parking at the Dominican Center, enter off of Lakeside Drive.