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Our Purpose

The Beginning Experience New Zealand is part of the world wide organisation, all working with the common goal of supporting those men, women and children suffering from grief due to divorce, separation and widowhood.

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Our Vision and Mission

The Beginning Experience (R) Vision is

A hurting people, healed, transformed and free again to love themselves, others and God.

The Beginning Experience (R) Mission is

The purpose of the Beginning Experience ministry is to facilitate the grief resolution process for people who have suffered a loss through death, divorce or separation, thereby enabling them to again love themselves, others and God.

We accomplish the purpose by offering quality, copyrighted, grief resolution programmes presented by trained peer facilitators.  These programmes are designed to move grieving people through a transformational process to a new beginning in  their lives.

We believe that through resolving the grief of a significant loss:

  • Individuals participate in the death and resurrection of Christ as he lives in the world today;
  • that those working through this experience can effectively walk with others for whom the experience is new and hard;
  • and that the invitation to recover offers an opportunity for life transformation, and for freeing individuals to love self, others and God in new and deeper ways.

Adopted by the International Board of Directors, July 3, 2003


B.E. Weekends

This weekend program helps grieving persons focus on their experience and emerge from the darkness of grief into the light of a new beginning. The program helps deal with the natural grief process and offers an opportunity for turning the pain of loss into an experience of positive growth. Founded by a Catholic nun and her lay friend, the programme is rooted in the Christian tradition, the ministry's open, inclusive spirit serves everyone.

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BE History

In 1973, Sister Josephine Stewart, a family counsellor at the Catholic Renewal Center in Fort Worth, Texas and a divorced friend, Jo Lamia, attended a Marriage Encounter weekend with the intention of developing a program for engaged couples. In the course of the weekend, Ms. Lamia adapted the Marriage Encounter process to face issues and concerns in her own life that had never been addressed. At the close of the weekend, Sister Josephine saw a profound change occur in her friend.

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I had divorced and Beginning Experience sounded like a way to regain my self-image. I found just what I needed - the hope that I could recover and start my life again.