Published on March 21, 2019
Alive’s Interfaith breakfast program brings together faith leaders of all traditions to share knowledge on end-of-life care. The original program started in 2014 in response to Alive research findings that clergy and staff members felt underprepared to work with the dying.
Today’s program is funded by a grant from HCA Foundation and provides an opportunity for peers to educate one another and engage in rich conversations about how to best serve their congregants during one of the most sacred times in life. Topics of discussion range from disease processes, to care models, to coping with grief, and advance care planning.
“This is a good source of support and networking among faith communities and other agencies that are faith-based. Hospice integrates a person’s whole being and that includes their spirituality,” said participant Mary Price, System Director of Palliative Care at Saint Thomas Health and a member of Hermitage United Methodist Church.
Attendees include pastors, ministers, assistant pastors, deacons, and lay leaders, as well as nurses and social workers who are members of congregations and often called on to help. In addition, professionals in home health, funeral services, and medical care also participate to find out how they can better collaborate with religious groups.
“I work with our Congregational Care Ministry and have seen first-hand how end-of-life care can be very beneficial to family, loved ones, and friends. Hospice is a God option because He cares for us and hospice is another way He lets us know how much He cares.”
–Reverend Margreat Smithson, Church Administrator at Watson Grove Missionary Baptist Church
“I lost my mother before we had a chance to give her hospice care. She was a very strong woman and I felt she would have benefited strongly going through hospice. It’s important that people of the family and community spread the word that there is an option for your love ones, there is a way to cope, to and prepare.”
–Holly A. Randle, BSN in nursing and Master of Science in Health Education, Member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church