Care and Support During Life’s Critical Moments

Care and Support During Life’s Critical Moments

PRWhen your congregants face illness, death and grief, they experience not only physical and emotional pain, but questions, problems and doubt.

What is your role and how can you best lead your congregation through these most difficult times? How do these events effect the spiritual lives of those involved? How do you bring faith together with medicine, the hospital, HIPAA, and death and dying? What about DNR, ethical dilemmas and advanced directives?

Bedside pastoral care is vitally important, but so is broaching these subjects. Death is the one common event in the future for every parishioner, so how can you prepare to not only face death personally, but also to support others who are facing death?

In this daylong event, Rev. Patrick Riecke will explore these questions. Riecke is director of chaplaincy and chairperson of the Ethics Committee for Parkview Health. Parkview has more than 2 million patient encounters per year. Riecke and his staff of 20 hospital chaplains routinely walk through these spiritual, relational, emotional and existential questions.

Riecke will share lessons learned, dive into case studies and role play, draw lessons from the book of Job, discuss the role of the dying patient in our modern context, and provide many resources and handouts on everything from medical ethics to understanding health care. Riecke will even examine how we personally bear the burden of sadness in our own hearts when one of our congregants dies.


Sickness and death are certainties. But when accompanied by good pastoral care, they can be cracks through which the light of faith can shine.

During this session, you will:

  • learn how to help your congregation balance faith and fear during times of health crisis, including practical considerations for hospital visitation.
  • understand best pastoral practices as you care for the sick, dying and grieving.
  • find out how to navigate the internal questions of the pastoral caregiver.
  • examine case studies of congregants on their worst days and role play examples.
  • receive an introduction to clinical ethics, grief, advanced health care planning, and medical decision-making.

This workshop is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Central time) Thursday, November 8, 2018 at Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, 1811 Lincoln Ave. in Evansville. The cost is $30 per person. When congregational teams of three or more register together, the cost is discounted to $25 per person. This fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and workshop materials. Workshops limited to Indiana congregations.

How can you maximize your learning in this workshop and others? Check out this Center for Congregations article, "Getting the Most from an Education Event."