This list was started to support a webinar presentation on providing pastoral care during a time of quarantine. It will be updated regularly. My premises: God is in the room before I am (and when I am not). I'm joining God's work. Our notions of “what counts” are often inaccurate. E.g. spiritual care has to … Continue reading Pastoral care at a distance
Life - and death - continue. Having just written about how to lead funerals and memorial services - and working in the hospital - we're getting questions about what happens to services in the current health situation. I wanted to do some writing about that, but others are creating helpful resources. Here are some of … Continue reading Funerals these days.
The other day Bill Rice, a digital marketing guy I know, sent a series of tweets that talk about how to respond in these moments of change and crisis and uncertainty. He wrote: Write down what has actually changed. I’m always amazed how little things have to change to cause anxiety and overreaction. Write down … Continue reading What’s changed, what hasn’t – starting to think about caring for people.
I serve at Parkview Regional Medical Center as a chaplain. In that role, all the percentages become people. For example, when a treatment has a 99% success rate, we are the ones who talk with the family members of the 1%, who went from being a risk to being a person. And now a person … Continue reading The people behind the percentages.
Last month, I released a book about how to lead funerals. The book was barely out and my friend Dan said, “Did you remind people to make sure they have pants?” I told him that I had neglected that reminder. And then I asked him why he believed that was a necessary requirement. He told … Continue reading Remember your dress pants.
I’ve done words for a long time. I’ve talked, I’ve earned three degrees about words. I’ve been around funerals and memorial services for a long time, too. I want to give you a secret that I am constantly telling myself because I keep forgetting it. Here’s the secret: people forget what you say. You can offer … Continue reading Four ways to offer clarity to families in a funeral.
When you receive a hard diagnosis with a likelihood of death, people are glad to tell you what do to. They do it with intense certainty: “Do this treatment. Try this tool. Be courageous. Be strong.” And they do it with the best of intentions and the most anecdotal of data. “This worked for my … Continue reading A working list for life after a difficult diagnosis.
Nobody looks forward to leading funerals. But when a friend or family member asks for your help, it’s hard to say “no”. You can do it. Your words and actions will help family and friends give meaning to this life. And this book will help you find those words, even if you’ve never done this … Continue reading Coming soon: How to lead funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life.
“It IS a good morning.” That’s what the minister said. A woman died an hour earlier. Her death was both sudden and unexpected. The family was gathered in a hospital consult room, waiting for the next steps, waiting for the minister. He walked into the room, aware of the death. “Good morning,” said a family … Continue reading Sometimes the morning isn’t good.
When there’s no hope of recovery, how do you recover hope? You and I both know that question, I'm guessing. I wrestle with it regularly as a hospital chaplain. When I’m called to a room after Eddie hears his diagnosis. When the ambulance brings in 5-year-old Bree. When you hear that the treatment isn't working … Continue reading When there’s no hope of recovery, how do you recover hope?