Lent is February 26 - April 9, 2020.
“Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return."
The season of Lent offers Christians the opportunity to reflect on our own mortality and offers churches the opportunity to provide safe spaces to discuss issues of great significance to congregants, especially those who are nearing the end of their lives.
Lent is an opportunity to discuss:
Wills and planned giving
Important legal documents including Advance Directives
Health care decision making (who should make decisions for me if I can’t make my own?)
And by doing so we can:
Affirm our call to God to be with us in the midst of our trials and triumphs
So that, being guided by the Holy Spirit, we can walk through all of life in the confidence of the gifts of courage, grace and joy with the Father.
Here are some ideas for activities:
Incorporate the topic of end of life and mortality into sermons and newsletters.
Show the film, “Being Mortal” before or after services and hold a discussion.
Organize a discussion session on dying and dying well.
Invite a trained faith community nurse or health minister to walk through advance directive planning with a small group at your congregation. (Facilitator training will be available to faith community nurses and health ministers in January and February)
Faith community nurses and health ministers can provide important support for these conversations. We encourage each faith community to customize their activities to fit the needs of their community. Don’t feel qualified or called to facilitate these discussions? There are experts in our community who are happy to help.
Advance Care Planning
Did you know that PeaceHealth is the repository for Advance Directives and Durable Power of Attorney forms? They also offer free monthly interactive workshops for PeaceHealth caregivers and members of the community. All participants will be guided through the simple, yet thought-provoking, process of completing an Advance Directive. Advance care planning is for all adults age 18 and older.
* First Tuesday of every month from 4 to 6pm
* First Thursday of every month from 6 to 8pm
Location: St. Luke’s Community Health Education Center (3333 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham)
Registration is required to attend. Please visit www.peacehealth.org/yourvoiceyourchoice
For more information, please contact: Hilary Walker at 360-752-5267 or email@example.com.
The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. Their website includes a free conversation starter kit.
The Art of Dying website explores the concept of dying well and intends to serve as a practical and spiritual support to those faced with the prospect of death and dying. It is published by St. Mary’s University and affiliated with the Catholic Church. https://www.artofdyingwell.org/
Films and Books
Based on the book by noted author and physician Atul Gawande, Being Mortal is also a film available for free on PBS.org:
For Being Mortal discussion questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The People's Memorial Association is a non-profit that provides planning resources for low-cost funeral arrangements. https://peoplesmemorial.org/resources/planning_info.html
Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest offers a website that is a comprehensive portal of resources from communities across the state. Their goal is to inspire adults of all ages to create their personal end-of-life care plans and connect people to the tools they need to get started. They also provide resources to guide people through sharing those plans with their loved ones and health care teams. http://www.honoringchoicespnw.org
National Healthcare Decisions Day is on April 16, 2020 and exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.