Living Well and Dying Faithfully explores how Christian practices love, prayer, lament, compassion, and so on can contribute to the process of dying well. Working on the premise that one dies the way one lives, the book is unique in its constructive dialogue between theology and medicine as offering two complementary modes of care.
In this rich book Matthew Levering explores nine key virtues that we need to die (and live) well: love, hope, faith, penitence, gratitude, solidarity, humility, surrender, and courage. Retrieving and engaging a variety of biblical, theological, historical, and medical resources, Levering journeys through the various stages and challenges of the dying process, beginning with the fear of annihilation and continuing through repentance and gratitude, suffering and hope, before arriving finally at the courage needed to say goodbye to one’s familiar world. Grounded in careful readings of Scripture, the theological tradition, and contemporary culture, Dying and the Virtues comprehensively and beautifully shows how these nine virtues effectively unite us with God, the One who alone can conquer death.
Living in a culture that is fascinated with the topic of death and dying, there are many who desire to explore the issues from a Christian perspective. Living, Dying, Living Forever is designed as a workbook to help you explore the issues of living and dying as they relate to your relationship with God and with others. This material can be used by those who are near the end of life and by those who want to consider how they can live more fully in the present moment. At the end of each chapter there are practical exercises you can follow to help you explore the issues on a personal level. As you live out each day of the journey, these pages are designed to give you courage, hope and a perspective that embraces eternity.
This book provides concrete steps to aid congregants and pastors in communicating their mutual expectations. Keck presents fifty “expectation statements”—examples of what pastors and congregations can expect of one another; a vital resource to anyone who seeks to initiate a discussion of expectations in their own church.
This wise and practical handbook, written by a palliative care physician and a priest with experience in hospice ministry, addresses the needs of the dying, their relatives and friends, and also those who provide support and care. Recognizing that these needs are physical, emotional, and spiritual, Care for the Dying draws on insights from current best practice in palliative care, pastoral experience, and theological reflection. It explores the following: --the availability of care for the dying person --communicating with the family --responding to a request for assisted suicide --forgiveness, reconciliation and anointing --saying goodbyes --the mystery of suffering --dying with dignity --supporting the bereaved --caring for the carers. Throughout, there is a helpful emphasis on understanding the care of the dying as a privilege as well as a responsibility, on the importance of proper self-care and of gaining strength from working as a team. Many people, including medical professionals and clergy, are fearful of what to say or do when faced with approaching death. This resource will deepen understanding and build courage and confidence.
A Practical Guide to Later Life Planning, Care, and Wellbeing
Author: Mary Jo Saavedra
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
The Silver Tsunami is upon us as elder care and crisis management reaches a tipping point with the graying of America. By 2020, 54 million people in the U.S. will be over the age of 65; by 2030, that number will top 80 million. Feeling the squeeze of multi-generational home demands, children of aging parents are struggling to learn innovative eldercare management strategies and often find themselves overwhelmed by the many facets of caregiving. Eldercare 101 is the answer to making order from chaos. As a guide covering all aspects of aging and end-of-life in one place, caregivers will no longer spend endless nights trying to decode the Internet trail--confused, uncertain, and fearful of what they’re missing. Whether they are proactively planning ahead or need to have fast answers, this comprehensive, technology-rich resource presents steppingstones for the Sandwich Generation as they navigate caring for aging parents, grandparents, friends, and other family members. Eldercare 101 is a well-researched, organized, easy-to-understand guide for families desperately in need of help as they care for their aging loved ones. The book is organized into “6 pillars of aging wellbeing”: legal, financial, living environment, social, medical, and spiritual. Each pillar is explored by an expert and offers best practices and tips for evaluating choices, making decisions, and living well wherever the road might lead.
Recovering the Church's Voice in the Face of Death
Author: Fred Craddock
Publisher: Baker Books
The church does not cope very well with dying. Instead of using its own resources to mount a positive end-of-life ministry for the terminally ill, it outsources care to secular models, providers, and services. A terminal diagnosis typically triggers denial of impending death and placing faith in the techniques and resources of modern medicine. If a cure is not forthcoming, the patient and his or her loved ones experience a sense of failure and bitter disappointment. This book offers a critical analysis of the church's failure to communicate constructively about dying, reminding the church of its considerable liturgical, scriptural, and pastoral resources when it ministers to the terminally ill. The authors, who have all been personally and professionally involved in end-of-life issues, suggest practical, theological bases for speaking about dying, communicating with those facing death, and preaching about dying. They explore how dying--in baptism--begins and informs the Christian's life story. They also emphasize that the narrative of faith embraces dying, and they remind readers of scriptural and christological resources that can lead toward a "good dying." In addition, they present current best practices from health professionals for communication among caregivers and those facing death. The book includes a foreword by Stanley Hauerwas.
To live well one must be able to die well and vice versa. Life and death are two faces of the same coin but with a fundamental transformation when one moves from the spiritual dimension to the physical and back to the spiritual. Actually, there is but one thing: Life without beginning and without ending but with two expressions, one on the spiritual plane and the other on the material plane. Today, in the West we find a great paradox: we have made enormous progress at the material, technological level but not at the human and psychological level. One aspect of this paradox is that we do not die well! We are afraid of death, we deny it and seek to postpone it for as long as possible at an enormous human and economic cost. The spiritual tradition always had very substantial cognitive and practical contributions to make to our understanding of life, death, and life after death. The basic objective of this book is to present these contributions and help us die with more dignity and less fear. In fact, this work was written to help you live and die without fear, anxiety, guilt, blame or frustration with an appreciation and gratitude for all our human experiences which include birth, life and death.
Episcopalians consider themselves to be people whose individual and corporate lives are shaped by the Book of Common Prayer, but aside from worship on Sunday morning, few know what fills its nearly 1,000 pages. John Westerhoff, Episcopal priest and Christian educator, walks readers through the ways in which the contents of the Prayer Book can (and should) shape the life of those who call themselves Episcopalians. An excellent resource for parish study or reading in advance of seminary training, Westerhoff explores a brief history of the Prayer Book, and the ways in which it shapes us as pilgrim and prayerful people. How Episcopalians live into their baptism, live a Eucharistic and reconciling life, as well as a life of wholeness and health are explored in detail. All of this, as Westerhoff writes, helps us lead a holy life, and one day, to a holy death. John H. Westerhoff is an Episcopal priest, the former professor of theology and Christian nurture at Duke University, the author of many books about Christian education and life. For the last decade he has been theologian-in-residence at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia.