Member Care Update--September 2016
Expanding the global impact of member care
Living Well--Finishing Well--Remembering Well
In this Update we share a few reflections and resources related to death and dying. The resources are primarily from Christian sources. How can we embrace our mortality and live our lives fully, including the end of our lives? How can we support others as they do the same? What are some ways to honor and morn those who have passed? Dealing with the many facets of mortality, especially as people of hope who live in the assurance of eternal life, is a core area to intentionally build into our member care skills and work.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Do not fear what you are about to suffer...
Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Over the River, Jon Foreman
Song and lyrics
Reflection: Many of us spend a lifetime denying our mortality. Our culture gives us more than enough help in this effort, an effort that so often keeps us at least one step away from fully trusting in God’s desire or ability to provide for us. Even the church has helped us in our denial. So rarely do we hear teaching or preaching that fully celebrates the glorious gift of life and honestly reminds us that birth and death are each a necessary and irreplaceable part of life….We are mortal. We are born and we shall die. The person who is in communion with God wears mortality comfortably. To be with God is to be at home in this world and in the next. Norman Shawchuck and Rueben P. Job. A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God, p. 114 (see also MO’D Blog for brief reflections-devotionals)
Into the West, Howard Shore
Living Fully in the Shadow of Death; Assurance and Guidance to Finish Well, Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge and Robert Dr Vries. While the psalmist promises God's protection, it is difficult to face our mortality. But in doing so we better prepare both ourselves and our loved ones for the reality of death. For those with a life-threatening medical condition or terminal illness, this is an urgent concern. In response, Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge, a psychologist, and Robert C. DeVries, a pastor, offer this indispensable guide to the practical and spiritual concerns of dying. With compassion and understanding, they offer sound advice on everything from accepting death as a part of life, legal issues, and funeral planning, to the difficult spiritual questions asked regarding terminal illness and life after death. This book is an important resource for individuals and families facing terminal illness, hospice and nursing personnel, and pastors and counselors. (from website)
Remembering Well: Rituals for Celebrating Life and Mourning Death, Sarah York. "Remembering Well" offers family members, clergy, funeral professionals, and hospice workers ways to plan services and rituals that honor the spirit of the deceased and are faithful to that person's values and beliefs, while also respecting the needs and wishes of those who will attend the services. It is an essential resource for anyone who yearns to put death in a spiritual context but is unsure how to do so-including both those who have broken with tradition and those who wish to give new meaning to the time-honored rituals of their faith. The real-life stories, examples, and practical guidelines in this book address a wide array of important issues, including the difficult decisions that survivors must make quickly when a death occurs-and the sensitive topic of family alienation, where possibilities for healing, forgiveness, and hope are explored. The invaluable insights offered here will help those who grieve to prepare mind and spirit for life's final rites of passage. (from website)
CareNotes, One Caring Place, Abbey Press. Full color booklets offering strength, help and healing for those who are hurting….More than 50,000 institutions and organizations worldwide have used CareNotes in their caring work over the past 20 years. Hospital chaplains, hospice workers, palliative care professionals, social workers, bereavement coordinators, pastoral care ministers, and funeral directors find that CareNotes enrich the counseling they give. (from website) Some topics:
--End of Life/Hospice
--Grief and Loss
World Report on Ageing and Health, World Health Organization (2015). Comprehensive public health action on population ageing is urgently needed. This will require fundamental shifts, not just in the things we do, but in how we think about ageing itself. The World report on ageing and health outlines a framework for action to foster Healthy Ageing built around the new concept of functional ability. Making these investments will have valuable social and economic returns, both in terms of health and wellbeing of older people and in enabling their on-going participation in society. (quote from website)
Reflection: Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Hear Me saying Peace, be still to your restless heart. No matter what happens, I will never leave you or forsake you. Let this assurance soak into your mind and heart, until you overflow with Joy. Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, you need not fear!…Let Scripture saturate your mind and heart, and you will walk steadily along the path of Life. Even though you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, you can be absolutely sure of its ultimate destination. I hold you by your right hand, and afterward I will take you into Glory. (MK 4:39, DT 31:6, PS 46: 2, PS 73: 23-24) Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Devotions for Every Day of the Year, April 16 (see also Upper Room Daily Reflections for brief devotionals)
Lord of the Rings soundtrack
Song and lyrics
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face;
now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
I Cor. 13:12
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be.
We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
I John 3:2
Member Care Associates
Member Care Associates is a non-profit, Christian organisation based in Geneva and the USA.
We provide-develop supportive resources for workers and organizations in the mission, humanitarian,
and development sectors. Our services include consultation, training, research, and publications.
Global Integration (GI)
GI is a framework for actively integrating our lives with global realities. It helps us to connect relationally and contribute relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the major issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, faith-based).
More MCA Resources
Global Portal for Good Practice (website)
Reflections, Research, and Resources for Good Practice (weblog)
Global Mental Health: A Global Map for a Global Movement (website)
Global Integration: Common Ground-Common Good (updates, materials, webinars)
Global Member Care: (volume one): The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (2011)
(e-book version is available on Amazon)
Global Member Care (volume two): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013)
(e-book version is available on Amazon)
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