Support Groups


Williamsville United Methodist Church is the meeting place for several support groups and meetings. All are welcome to join these groups at any time - just check our Church Calendar for the meeting time and place.

Parents' Bereavement Support Groups

Grieving the death of a child is a long, painful, and often unending journey. Grief work is the process that involves learning to live with the emptiness created by the loss of a child. There is no timetable and every parent is different in how they respond to grief. It has been found that bereavement support groups can be very beneficial by leading to nurturing and healing friendships for many bereaved parents.

Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo provides Bereavement Services for families in the community who have lost a child at any age. This program offers compassionate support, education, community referrals, and support groups to those who are grieving and searching to find meaning after this devastating life experience.

Many of these Bereavement Services are provided in locations throughout the Buffalo area, including the following two parent support groups that meet at WUMC:

  • Discovering New Life: After the Death of a Child (parents) - Meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. in WUMC’s library.
  • Surviving the Death of an Only Child - Meets in WUMC’s library when there is a need. Please call 716-878-7773 for meeting dates and times.

The parent support groups that meet at WUMC are led by Lesley Jordans, M.S. CT, Bereavement Coordinator at Women & Children’s Hospital. Lesley leads support groups at other locations for siblings of various ages, grandparents, aunt and uncles, and other adults touched by the death of a child. Lesley also provides support groups for those who have experienced a stillbirth, death of a newborn, miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancy.

To experience the loss of a child without support and compassion is incomprehensible. If you are aware of someone who is grieving the loss of a child, please let them know about the Bereavement Services offered by Women & Children’s Hospital. They can call Lesley Jordans at 716-878-7773 for more information about the different support groups.

Women’s Gynecological Cancer Support Group Support Group

Laughter? I walk into the room where the Gynecological Cancer Support Group meets. Inside I find a small, obviously close-knit group of women. Nervously, I pass my hand over my bald head and find a seat. Immediately, I am greeted with smiles, hugs, and nods of encouragement. I wondered what I had been so afraid of, why I had waited until my chemotherapy was complete to come to my first meeting. During those first two hours I shared my story, learned more about the disease, and eagerly listened to the wisdom of those brave women who started walking this path before me. I remember looking around the room at these beautiful women, these strong survivors, and for the first time since my diagnosis, I did not feel alone.

The Gynecological Cancer Support Group meets the first and third Tuesday of each month from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the WUMC library. For two precious hours, women who have been affected by cancer come together to share their fears, ask about treatment side effects, and discuss the latest developments toward a cure. Most importantly, however, these women find the love and strength in themselves and in each other to celebrate and greet life with joyous laughter.

Perhaps cancer has touched your life, or the life of someone you love. Maybe you have just been diagnosed or have had a recurrence and feel lost and scared. Perhaps you are a cancer survivor and would like to lend support to others. If so, come join us – we look forward to meeting you.

Men's Recovery Group

The Men's Recovery Group meets in WUMC's library every Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. This group is associated with Narcotics Anonymous, which is a nonprofit fellowship for those whom drugs have become a major problem. This Men's Recovery Group meets regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There are no dues or fees, no pledges to sign, no promises to make to anyone. We are only interested in what you want to do about your problem and how we can help. The men who come to meetings regularly stay clean. We do recover! The 24-hour a day Narcotics Anonymous Helpline is 878-2316.

Mitochondrial Disease Support Group

When you are told that you have a rare and unusual disease, fear of the unknown sets in. Support and information become a necessity and contact with others affected is emotional and healing. Mitochondrial disease results from failures of the mitochondrial cells that power the body with energy. When the mitochondria fail, the body systems are comprised, resulting in numerous and varying symptoms and sometimes even death. The disease can affect people of any age, sex, race, or heritage and can be devastating.

The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation assists individuals and families affected by Mitochondrial disease through support, education, research, and advocacy. We have recently started a support group that is held at Williamsville United Methodist Church on the third Thursday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. We welcome anyone interested in attending our meetings.

We are also planning a walk-a-thon and are looking for walkers and volunteers. Anyone interested in the meetings, information, or our fundraisers can contact Jennifer at
JSchwartzo@aol.com.