Are you one of the hundreds of groups preparing to participate in Conversation Sabbath between October 24th and November 3rd? Are you looking for ideas on where to start (or what Conversation Sabbath is all about)? Or, maybe you’ve participated in the past and are looking for new inspiration and ideas? Well, we have you covered. Check out the below 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!
1.Go to our Get Involved: Faith Resources page.
This page offers a road map for the journey to Conversation Sabbath. Listen to Rev. Rosemary Lloyd describe what Conversation Sabbath is all about. Check out our Fact Sheet (everything you need to know about the 2019 Conversation Sabbath) and peruse the list of ready-made resources we have. Other resources include: an Invitation to Clergy (an editable word document inviting clergy colleagues to participate in Conversation Sabbath in your region), a Save the Date Card (that you may print or post on your website or newsletter to promote Conversation Sabbath), sermons, program guides, and more!
For inspiration on how to partner with faith communities in your area, listen to our featured guests Larimer (Colorado) Advance Care Planning guides Mindy Rickard and Eva Ireland. They have built creative collaborations to introduce the importance of having crucial conversations about what matters most to people and getting their wishes documented. Learn how they built relationships with leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ (LDS), Faith Nurses and faith-based health clinics, and community groups. Borrow their good ideas of creating a single page flyer on their key offerings, developing a “Book Club for Mortals” (reading books like Driving Miss Norma, When Breath Becomes Air, The Last Lecture, and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes), and movie screenings to stimulate conversations about what’s on your bucket list.
For a sneak peak, they share the following tips on introducing this and working with congregations:
- To prep for meeting with or presenting at a congregation, do your homework; invest some time in learning about the religious tradition (you can’t learn everything, but it demonstrates respect when beginning this relationship)
- When proposing a new program to a congregation, be curious: ask, “What has worked well when you’ve introduced a new idea in the past?”
- Offer to present to groups that are already meeting on a regular basis, e.g. Larimer’s “Elderberries” group hosts regular potluck meals with a program
Mindy and Eva also shared the following lessons on tapping allies from within and across faiths to help spread interest in these crucial conversations.
- Consider an Interfaith panel about end-of-life to discuss various perspectives and include other community experts on end-of-life topics (e.g. green burials, death doulas, etc.) as these make for wonderful collaborative events
- Faith nurses and health care professionals within congregations can be good champions, identify these allies from the start
- Stevens Ministers, internal pastoral groups in some Christian denominations, can be great allies and may welcome training and expert support as they help fellow congregants navigate health challenges
- Even a small group presentation is worthwhile; that small group can possible open doors to larger audience down the road
3. Review past issues and sign up for our monthly Conversation Sabbath newsletter to learn further ideas, tips and lessons from others, not just for Conversation Sabbath but for engaging faith communities all year round. Past issues can be found here.