Table of Contents: October 24, 2019

 It's  Conversation Sabbath ! CS2019

At the C-TAC (Coalition for the Transformation of Advance Care Summit) in Minneapolis this month, The Conversation Project was honored to add our voice to the strategy to engage faith communities to bring advance care planning to congregants. Clergy and lay leaders embraced the idea that planning ahead is a faithful response to being human beings in mortal bodies. Talking together about the values that inform our wishes for care is a way to emphasize what matters TO us, not just what's the matter WITH us.
To turn aspiration into action, faith leaders are:
  • Learning about the many resources available to them (like TCP's Conversation Starter Kits that are available for free in multiple languages, as well as The Hello Game) ,AARP's Prepare to Care; also tools from Honoring Choices, Respecting Choices, and the Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care Heart to Heart 
  • They are modeling leadership in this area by making commitments to have their own conversations about What Matters Most to them first
  • And they are weaving advance care planning themes into preaching, programs, and pastoral care-either leading this work themselves, delegating to lay leaders, or inviting guest presenters from the health care, hospice, or palliative care fields. (For inspiration, read this sermon given last year: A Gift of Immeasurable Worth: by Jenny Buckley, RN, BSN, CHPN, Weinstein Hospice and Congregation Etz Chaim, Marietta, GA)
We know that congregations are well-positioned to support people with serious illness-and their family caregivers. Let's use the "power of the pulpit" to support people in having crucial conversations and giving the people they care most about the gift of knowing what matters most.
If you are giving a sermon or offering theme-related programming during Conversation Sabbath this year, please let us know! We would love to highlight your work to the wider TCP community. You can email us at Or tag us on Facebook , Instagram, or twitter. 

Of course, any time of year is a good time to weave The Conversation into the life of your congregation. Please put yourself on the map! Go to the bottom of our Get Involved page and use the orange pin to let people in your region know you are active in faith communities. It's a great way to connect and build synergy for this important work.

Are you looking for ideas on where to start (or want to learn more about Conversation Sabbath)? Or, maybe you've participated in the past and are looking for new inspiration and ideas? Well, we have you covered. Below are a list of different resources to help you get involved:
  • Click here to access some resources to support you in preparing for this year's Conversation Sabbath and/or for sharing with others who you'd like to join you along the way!
  • Bethel AME Church has dedicated their efforts to launching a ministry called Planning Ahead. This program not only prompts congregants to think critically about what matters most to them, it also encourages them to think about how their faith speaks to the values they would like to have honored towards the end of their lives. Click here to read Bethel's case study where they share their successes, challenges and insight around what it was like to meaningfully engage their congregation in having the conversation in a faith-based setting.
  • Engaging Faith Leaders and Other Lessons: Ashley Areyan is the Development and Community Engagement Director at the Institute for Human Caring at Providence St. Joseph Health, based in Los Angeles. She collaborated with The Conversation Project to help bring advanced care planning to people where they live, work and pray. Read her group's case study.
Video: Talking Matters in Faith CommunitesVideo

Click here to watch this video that reminds us why faith communities are the perfect setting to have value-based conversations about end-of-life care and planning ahead.

11 Must Read Books About Death and End-of-Life Care

Whe n we produced our 10 must read books about death and end-of-life care over three years  ago, we realized that the universality of the concept of death knits us all together. Writers from all walks of life continue to lead their readers to mingle with death-get to know it from a distance. They urge readers to familiarize themselves with their inevitable acquaintance (so to speak). The blog linked below contains a list of books that our audience has recommended to us. Each book, written through vastly different lenses, offers the idea that by confronting death, we all will be more likely to live life with a little bit more intention.  Click here to check out the full list!

3 Go-to-Resources to Help Prepare for Conversation Sabbath Resources

Click here  to access a blog that offers resources to support you in preparing for this year's Conversation Sabbath and/or for sharing with others who you'd like to join you along the way!
What Are You Doing for Conversation Sabbath? Activity

We'd love to hear what you are planning for Conversation Sabbath this year. Take this brief survey to help us learn more about how you plan on participating in Conversation Sabbath this year and/or how you've participated in the past And please go to our map and add a pin to help us connect with one another!
 Download the Getting Started Guide for Congregations GSG

 This guide is designed to help congregational leaders introduce The Conversation Project's mission and free resources in the communities they know and serve. It is filled with examples of how diverse faith communities are encouraging their congregants to engage in thoughtful reflection and have conversations about their end-of-life care wishes with loved ones and health care providers. Click here to download the Guide.

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Thank you for all that you do,
Rosemary Lloyd and  Naomi Fedna for The Conversation Project 

Want to connect? Email us at 

The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care. Our free Starter Kit can help you talk to your loved ones about this difficult topic.