I’ve got a great ministry idea. I keep talking to churches about it. So far, no one has done more than smile and nod. It first came to mind in the basement of the Litchfield Congregational church in Litchfield, Michigan. Litchfield is small. The church is smaller. The church is about 20 feet from the … Continue reading Potluck and Pie
We've talked elsewhere about a way to approach services for an infant or a stillborn child. Now, ehat do you say at the grave of a stillborn baby? A person who was moving in the womb and then wasn't. A person who was part of a story that parents were writing and dreaming and decorating … Continue reading Graveside service for a stillborn.
If you've sat with a family in an emergency room, you've faced hard questions. And you've struggled to figure out the way to navigate hope and despair. It doesn't matter if you are a chaplain or a pastor or a friend that showed up in a hard time. You get questions and you have to … Continue reading Navigating hope and despair in ER conversations.
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande.The Art of Dying: Living Fully into the Life to Come. Rob Moll. Departing in Peace: Biblical Decisionmaking at the End of Life. Bill Davis. Between Life and Death: A Gospel-Centered Guide to End-of-Life Medical Care. Kathryn Butler.I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at … Continue reading Talking about talking about death: notes on recent reading.
“What do we do?” The dad was holding the baby. About 30 weeks in the womb, the first 28 of those growing, moving. The last two motionless. Now, this couple was thinking about the services that would honor their child who had no list of accomplishment to eulogize. I was in the room because I’m … Continue reading One way to approach services for a stillborn or infant.
I offered my hand to the old man in the consult room. He grabbed it with the hand that had done compressions on his wife of six decades. He worked to slow his breath. I worked to find my next word. I was in the place between platitudes and prayer and presence and profoundness and … Continue reading Practical daily research
I think they were nine and twelve. But I’m terrible with figuring out the ages of kids, and I’ve decided that asking isn’t helpful. Instead, I start listening and start talking and calibrate my vocabulary and concepts to the responses I’m getting. Thirty feet away, through an open door, a public hallway, and a closed … Continue reading A conversation with kids about death.
Adriel Booker wrote this for pastors who want to care for parents after miscarriage. What parents need from pastors after a miscarriage 1. Make time for grieving parents as early as possible. 2. Acknowledge the significance of their baby’s life. 3. Attend to both the mother and the father. 4. Encourage them to be honest … Continue reading How spiritual leaders can help in time of miscarriage (link)
Here are the words I use every time I begin a funeral service. We don’t want to be here. Just so that’s clear. We’re here because when God made us, he built us to respect lives, and to acknowledge that when an earthly life ends, something significant changes. There is something that is right about … Continue reading How to start a funeral service