YORK — A program to help those coping with divorce or separation is coming to York.

Divorce Care – which is put on by Church Initiative – will begin Monday, Jan. 7. The 13-week, non-denominational workshop aims to provide a positive environment. “It’s not a way to bring people to church,” said facilitator Russ Hinds. “We just want to help.”

Discussing divorce and separation are difficult conversations, but Hinds said Divorce Care is unique. “We try to keep things positive, and give people an opportunity to share,” he said, adding “There is no requirement to share. If you are willing to listen to what they [facilitators and participants] are saying, you’ll learn something.”

Divorce Care is typically facilitated by individuals who can relate to the subject. “It’s people who have been divorced and know what it’s like,” Hinds said.

Hinds is no exception. In addition to being a facilitator several times over, Hinds has experienced Divorce Care through the eyes of a participant. “I took the course nine years after my divorce,” he said. After nine years, Hinds said, he thought he had the aftereffects of his divorce under control. Without even realizing it, he still had feelings to resolve. “The biggest thing that was holding me back was forgiveness. Sometimes forgiveness is the biggest thing,” he said.

Forgiveness is just one facet of Divorce Care. Hinds said there is often a bond developed between participants. “We try to keep that community, and become a place where they can share, and people understand,” he said. It’s through that community – along with the Divorce Care learning experience – that help participants heal and regain hope for the future.

Divorce Care entails three key components: video seminars, small group discussion and a workbook.

The video seminars share information from divorce experts. Along with expert interviews, real-life case studies and other resources make up the videos.

Following the 30-to-40-minute video, participants gather as a small group to share their experiences, thoughts and feelings.

Hinds emphasized that the workbook is more about self-examination, and shouldn’t be confused with homework. “It’s a thought-provoking journaling and studying experience,” Hinds said.

Divorce Care – a 13-week program – will meet Mondays from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at East Hill Church of Christ. The first meeting is Monday, Jan. 7. “Of course it is best to attend all 13 weeks the program is designed so that people can start attending at any point during the series,” Hinds said. A fee of $15 is required to cover workbook costs. Register at www.divorcecare.org.

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