Church work with the terminally ill

An Assessment of Denominational Resources and Guidance Available Relating to End-of-Life Pastoral Care in the Anglican Church in North America, Diocese of Western Anglicans, Deaneries of San Diego and Los Angeles

Author
James D Hearn
Abstract
This thesis examines the difficulties faced by parish clergy serving in the Diocese of Western Anglicans of the Anglican Church in North America in attempting to access denominational resources and secure guidance when called upton to minister to congregants facing complex end-of-life issues. While the Church is possessed of rich foundational resources capable of providing bioethical guidance, the data obtained through field research suggests that clergy are either unaware of such resources or face difficulties or confusion in locating, interpreting, and applying them. These resources are considered as re the foundations upon which further resources may be generated.

A homiletic approach on death & dying for aging Christians

Author
Robert D Hutchinson
Abstract
This thesis is an instructional resource to teach Christian ministers how to communicate a biblical message that will comfort older Christians suffering through multiple losses associated with the dying process. The thesis contains an exegetical and theological study related to suffering and dying, an overview on the nature and experience of suffering, and important considerations when preaching to older Christians. Also included is a three-part teaching guide with lesson outlines, handouts, quizzes and course evaluation form. Lastly, the thesis contains results and analysis from a live teaching of a portion of the material.

Hospital chaplains' cultural sensitivity as a motivating factor for Hispanics' openness to pastoral care in end-of-life issues

Author
Ladislao G Robinson
Abstract
This dissertation argues that a chaplain's cultural sensitivity motivates Hispanics' openness to receive pastoral care when facing end-of-life issues as patients and family members in the hospital setting. This openness has to be encouraged because of the withdrawal, isolation, silence, and anger they may face during their hospital in-patient experience. These behaviors and dynamics are frequently present and noticeable in their dying/death events. The end of a patient's life gives a chaplain the opportunity to provide pastoral care. This ministry geared toward Hispanics allows them to the the recipients of spiritual healing. This dissertation is composed of five chapters that, taken together, support the proposed thesis.

Physicians and grief: spiritual, emotional, ethical, organizational, and pastoral care implications

Author
Jonathan S Webster
Abstract
The project sought to examine the ways physicians from various religious traditions cope with the death of a patient and provide a paradigm for a hospital chaplain to provide that support. The author dialogued with twelve physicians focusing on the topic of grief and faith. These physicians shared storied of patients' deaths that were stressful that are consistent with national and international research on the topic. The dialogues suggested that the chaplain has a continuing, holistic and unique role to provide support to these healers that focuses on the spiritual, the emotional and ethical aspects of death and dying.

The impact of death anxiety

Author
Llewellyn M Drumbor
Abstract
Death anxiety and the fear of death are often intertwined in the human psyche, presenting the potential for a broad array of destructive forces unless courage is found to address and manage both death anxiety and the fear of death. The first section of this project addresses death. It explores such authorities as psychiatrist Irvin Yalom who wrote regarding the momentous importance of death and its role in shaping one's life perspective. The focus of quoted sources and of the author is that death needs to be confronted as a life-empowering change; especially the lives and death competence of chaplains and clergy. Only through such change will chaplains and clergy be unfettered to teach, model, and assist others, in confronting the destructive forces of death anxiety and fear of death. Exploring death anxiety and fear of death, defines death anxiety while discussing the relationship between death anxiety and fear. Fear of death has a focus, a primary concern. Most scholars conclude that three primary concerns comprise fear of death: Thoughts of a punishing afterlife; dread of annihilation; and the physical pain that may be felt while dying. The project explains how an integration of knowledge, skills, and competences is critical to preparing the chaplain/clergy for effective ministry. The professional caregiver will need to come to terms with her/his own mortality before building the trust that transcends the fear and death anxiety inherent with end-of-life patients.

Creating an ars moriendi for our time: integrating spiritual practices into end of life care

Author
Joseph M McGowan
Abstract
After an examination of ars moriendi literature and assessment of the current state of the end of life conversation, the author integrated three spiritual practices -- finger labyrinths, journaling, and prayer beads -- as a way for people at the end of life to process how they were preparing spiritually to die. Working with terminal patients, the author created exploration sheets to go with each spiritual practice to guide the conversations between the patient and the chaplain in a hospice and palliative care setting. While each experience was unique, the author concluded there was value in using specific spiritual practices to assist someone in making the transition from earthly life to eternal life.

End of life decisions: a guide for ministers

Author
Nanette A Mathe
Abstract
Protestant ministers in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, lack the knowledge to guide parishioners in end of life decision making. Experiential evidence suggested that ministers do not discuss these issues because of lack of medical knowledge. A booklet covering ethical process, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, intubation and mechanical ventilation, artificial nutrition and hydration, antibiotic usage, and comfort measures was written to educate ministers. The booklet was evaluated through a pre- and post-seminar questionnaire. The evaluations determined that understanding of end of life issues improved by 45% after the participants took the seminar. This booklet will enable the minister to guide parishioners in making end of life decisions.

Minstering to the shepherd: a guide for when terminal illness strikes the pastor's family

Author
William Donald Page
Abstract
Churches need insight if a terminal illness strikes their pastor's spouse. By utilizing archival research coupled with personal experience, a forty-page guide was crafted. It can inform a church faced with this situation. It is composed of introductory material, six sections which consider a specific part of terminal illness, a conclusion and resource list. Each section has an indexed series of questions and answers to help a church to understand the challenges faced during a terminal illness.
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