About Us

GENESIS Bereavement Resources offers support and encouragement to bereaved people. Our carefully prepared books, brochures and DVDs address some of the issues around grief and bereavement as well as encouraging bereaved people in creating a new life.

About John Kennedy Saynor

GENESIS: For Pastoral Care

Including Clergy, church lay workers, pastoral care workers, and chaplains

Ministry to the Bereaved

After working for many years as a funeral director I had a strong sense that there was a need for ongoing care to be provided for those who are bereaved long after the funeral is over. For me, that meant more education and I saw an opportunity for ministry. When I first approached the Anglican Bishop of Toronto Canada about being ordained he said, “John, it will be so depressing. Parish work is so much more exciting!” Little did he know years later that I would be as excited about ministry to the bereaved as I am!

What have I found after 12 years of active ministry to bereaved people?

  1. There is a need! People respond when you announce a support group or any activity that provides education and support for the bereaved.
  2. It isn’t depressing as my bishop assured me it would be. It is sad, at times, but not depressing.
  3. Ministry to the bereaved is a form of primary evangelism. The church is often criticized for not being where people are. We are criticized for not “scratching where it itches.” This is an opportunity to do just that – “scratch where it itches.”
  4. Grief is a spiritual journey. The journey through grief provides people with an opportunity to reflect on life and on the meaning of life. The death of someone significant often raises the important questions: “Where is God in this? Why did God do this to us? Where is my loved one now? Will we ever see each other again?” These and many other questions, when carefully asked and thoughtfully answered will provide people with the foundation for renewing and recreating their life.

GENESIS means beginning

The name “GENESIS” was chosen because the death of a loved one, or any significant loss is the end of one period of life and the beginning of a new phase. When someone you love dies the old patterns of your life, your former dreams, the rules that governed your life are no longer as useful as they once were. You are faced with a new beginning. At GENESIS we encourage people to move on with the love and the memories of those who have died motivating you to rediscover yourself and your life and begin again.

How can GENESIS Bereavement Resources help you in your ministry to the bereaved?

Do you ever feel frustrated by the fact that you don’t have the time or resources to care for the bereaved in your care? If your theological training was anything like mine you received little or no teaching in this area. One of my goals in developing this programme is to provide resources to clergy and pastoral care workers. The subject of spirituality is raised gently and without any attempt to proselytize or coerce people. I attempt to cover a broad range of topics that will help you provide care for your people before, during and after the time of death. There is also an emphasis on the fact that people mourn many losses, not only loss incurred by death.

Our books and brochures are written in simple language to help bereaved people understand the dynamics of grief, why they are feeling the way they are, and how they can successfully navigate through the rough waters of grief.

GENESIS: A Personal Guide Through Grief is a helpful resource to make available to those in your care following the funeral. It was also written to be a guide for a support group.

The Psalms: Companions Through Grief The Psalms have been a source of inspiration and encouragement to millions over the centuries. In this book the reader is taken on a spiritual journey through grief with the Psalms as a guide. The Psalms, especially the Psalms of Lament, reflect the human experience of loss and grief in the context of questioning and challenging God. The reader is taken gently through the phases of grief in an honest yet hopeful way that leads one to consider grief as potentially transformative. It is a workbook that blends the psychology of grief with sprituality.

Our children’s books are designed to help adults help children through this difficult time. The books are best used when an adult can sit with a child and go through the book rather than just give to a child to read alone. Please check out my newest book Buster the Clown is Dead. It was written to fill a gap in literature for children. It explains cremation to children and provides children with exercises that help them express their emotions and pay tribute to the one who has died. Dead is a Four Letter Word: A young person’s guide through grief tells the story of Peter and his younger brother who are drowned in a boating accident. The reader is skillfully guided through exercises to help understand the symptoms of grief and the steps that can be taken to begin to resolve the grief. it is a positive, encouraging book that will support young people as they begin to rebuild their lives after the death of a family member or friend. ($5.00 each)

Our Growing Through Grief series of brochures are an inexpensive resource to make available to people suffering a variety of losses. The brochure Anticipatory Grief: What is it? is a helpful piece to give to people who are experiencing a long term illness in the family.

You will also find the DVD Grief: A Journey of Discovery particularly helpful when guiding people through the spiritual aspects of grief.

Please feel free to contact me regarding developing a ministry to the bereaved or with any suggestions you may have about materials you would find helpful.

Order Form