Includes bibliographical references, pp. -165.
"All congregations experience stress. However, occasionally a congregation goes through some sort of major tragedy -- for example a fire, a sexual misconduct scandal, or the untimely death of a pastor -- that requires a completely different order of coping skills. This is the first book to address those needs comprehensively. It includes care strategies, how to adapt worship, assessment tools for measuring healing, how the judicatory can help, how to handle the media, and how tragedy can give rise to learning." -- inside front cover.
Contents: Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- A Question of Faith: Why ? -- The Psychology of Trauma -- Three Faces of Tragedy -- When the Trauma is Disaster -- Strategies for Caring and Coping -- Worship as a Tool for Healing -- Surviving in the Public Eye -- Who Will Help ?: The Role of the Outside Consultant -- Moving Toward Wholeness -- Appendix A: Northminster Congregational Care Team Goals and Objectives -- Appendix B: Working with Youth in Crisis -- Appendix C: Common Behaviors of Children and Youth after a Crisis -- Appendix D: Children, Youth and Grief -- Appendix E: Do's and Don'ts for Talking with Young People about Death -- Appendix F: Stories about Death for Elementary School Children -- Appendix G: Coping with Grief: Books for Teens -- Appendix H: An Interim Pastor's First Sunday Sermon: The God Who Won't Let Go / Ronald W. Smith -- Notes.
Author is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The author "has been holding the hands of the dying for years, and he knows how to help. Whether you are the one with diagnosis, or the one who is caring for the dying, this book will offer support, encouragement, and some helpful tips. From dealing with medical staff to talking with family and friends who are in denial, [this book] is an ideal companion for perhaps the most important journey of all". -- back cover.
Contents divided into three parts.
Contents: Introduction -- Defining a "good and blessed death" -- Meditating on the psalms -- Admitting that you know -- Releasing control -- Asking your questions -- Dealing with privacy -- Grasping the present tense -- Crying -- Saying "no" or "NO!" to heroic measures -- Partnering with physicians -- Putting choices into writing -- Living until dying -- Dealing with the physical changes -- Embracing God -- Expressing anger -- Forgiving -- Befriending your fears -- Deciding how you want to be remembered -- Reviewing your life -- Making room in your dying for some living -- Making Doxologies -- Making life easier for your survivors -- Making a valid will -- Giving it to them now ! -- Guarding the gate -- Offering hospitality -- Making visitors comfortable -- Ignoring the well-intentioned -- Dealing with strugglers -- Leaving an ethical will -- Composing your goodbyes -- Food for the journey -- Requesting and receiving the gifts of prayer -- Embracing the silences -- Accepting the mystery -- Telling your stories -- Holding on for special red-letter days -- Making room for humor --Clinging to hope -- Enjoying dessert -- Choosing the time to die -- Finishing the race -- Endnotes.
Author "is an adjunct professor in the doctoral program at Northern Baptist Seminary and has taught courses at Nazarene Theological Seminary. He is a public speaker who frequently leads workshops for hospice training events and pastoral leadership conference. He is the author of many books on bereavement." -- p. .
"It has been three and one half years now since Laura Lue died, and we have moved to another city and a new church. I have had occasion to reflect at more distance on the grief process, and delivered a sermon on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend in 1973. The various stages described here accurately reflect my pilgrimage, and these words are added to set the process of bereavement in larger perspective". -- p. 2.
Author "was a communicant of St. Peter's Church, Arlington, Virginia, [and] a distinguished lawyer .... His faith was integral to the fabric of his life, a fact made clear in this letter to his friend, Bill McCarter, General Manager of WETA, on the occasion of the death of his son in an automobile accident [in 1970] during his high school years". -- p. .
"This is the story of my journey toward healing from grief after my husband, Joe, died from cancer in February 1992. My world was thrown into chaos. It became a place where I merely existed without wanting to belong. I was driven to make a journey that would lead to my sacred core, where I would discover who I really was, and then be led back to the surface and a new way of living". -- Intro., p. 13.
Author is an Anglican priest in the diocese of Huron.
Contents: Acknowledgements -- Preface -- Introduction -- The Ache of Autumn in Us -- I Know How the Flowers Felt -- Hello, Goodbye, Hello -- Like a Flock of Homesick Cranes -- Praying Our Goodbyes -- New Melodies Break Forth From the Heart -- Prayers for Those Experiencing Goodbyes -- Select Bibliography -- About the Author.
"The prayers in this section [Chapter 6] are extensions of Chapter 5. They incorporate both images and movement focusing on many kinds of loss. These goodbye prayers can be turned to as various forms of loss are experienced in one's life. Most are for individual use, but any of the prayers could be adapted for group prayer" (p. 112).
Contents of Chapter 6: Prayers for Those Experiencing Goodbyes: Prayer of One Seeking Shelter in the Storms of Life -- Prayer of One Who Feels Broken Apart -- Prayer of a Pilgrim Who Struggles with the Journey -- Prayer for a Lonely Day -- Prayer to Regain One's Inner Strength -- Prayer of Farewell to One Who is Leaving -- Prayer of One Who Has Been Been Betrayed by Another -- Prayer of One Who Is in Constant Physical Pain -- Prayer of One Who Feels Lost -- Prayer of One Experiencing Adult Transition -- Prayer of One Who is Moving On -- Prayer of One Terminating a Relationship -- Prayer When a Loved One Has Died -- Prayer for Trust When Experiencing a Loss -- Prayer of One Who Waits in Darkness -- Prayer of Goodbye to the Lies of My Life -- Prayer of Parents Whose Child Has Died -- Prayer to Unite With Jesus in Suffering -- Prayer of One Who Feels Terribly Poor Inside -- Prayer of One Going to a New Ministry -- Prayer to Accept a Parent -- Prayer of One Weary With Walking Others Through Their Goodbyes -- Prayer of One Who Needs Inner Healing -- Prayer of One Who Yearns for a New Heart..