Dementia-Friendly Worship Paperback – June 21, 2019
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We believe Dementia-Friendly Worship is fulfilled within the Great Commission; Matthew 28: 18-20. The love of God has no boundaries or limitations, and this provides our places of worship opportunities to lead with empathy while building a more inclusive, compassionate and loving community, ultimately transforming the lives of members with dementia and their families.
Even if expressive ability is imperiled, Dementia-Friendly Worship provides opportunities to experience a form of worship that encourages participation and engagement through creative and spirit-filled moments during worship. This form of worship allows communities, family members and those affected with dementia the opportunity to share the wonders of God's love together.Author: Rev. Dr. Tony J. Craddock, Sr., Associate Minister & Stephanie M. Craddock, Small Groups Director & Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator, First Mount Zion Baptist Church, Dumfries, Virginia
My own experience in dementia ministry resonates with every section of this book. It provides theological foundations for dementia-friendly worship. It is filled with specific steps to be followed in creating dementia-friendly faith communities. Faith communities are uniquely positioned to move to the leading edge of addressing this major need of society. In this book the reader will be equipped with the understanding and practical tools needed to start the life-giving, hope-filled journey of creating dementia-friendly worship and dementia-friendly faith communities. I have seen how this experience can revitalize an entire congregation and for that reason I welcome this book as a key resource for all faith communities. Author: Bishop Lawson Bryan, South Georgia Conference, United Methodist Church
Dementia-Friendly Worship provides a valuable, practical and spiritually uplifting resource for clergy of all faiths who seek meaningful ways to minister to this ever-expanding community. The personal reflections, as well as the examples of worship services from various venues, allow clergy to see and hear the voices and souls of those we care for. Author: Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, Director, Jewish Sacred Aging®
"Dynamic, comprehensive, practical" are three words to describe Dementia-Friendly Worship. Too often people living with dementia are not invited nor involved in worship mainly because worship leaders do not know how to communicate with them. Dementia-Friendly Worship presents ideas and concepts from many faith perspectives that can be used to enhance worship in this population. Worship is not just for the lucid and healthy, but for all people which includes persons living with dementia. Thank you to Lynda Everman and Don Wendorf for putting together a book that will become a classic in the field of dementia care. Author: Rich Behers, DMin., BCC, CFHPC, Spiritual Care Program Manager, CPE Supervisor, Cornerstone Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc.
My beloved mother, Rebecca, died not that long ago. She had suffered the impact of Alzheimer's for 20 years. As her eldest child I struggled with how to accompany her on this cruel journey. With my siblings I experienced that first death when we had to let go of who our mother had been and accept who she became with Alzheimer's. We eventually settled in to years of learning and caring for her, while also receiving so much from her resistance to allowing her illness to erase her faith. She loved to hear the Psalms. She would close her eyes and become peaceful when I would say to her that I was going to pray for her. To her last days of life, she would hum her favorite songs of faith at daybreak. It took me too long to realize that the faith within her was sustaining her and needed nurturing. How I wish this book had been written earlier. I am deeply grateful, though, that it will bless those who live with and care for those afflicted by dementia and Alzheimer's until it is eradicated. Author: Bishop Minerva Garza Carcaño, Resident Bishop, San Francisco Area, The United Methodist Church
Since 2017, when Lynda Everman shared her vision for this book with me, I have been eagerly waiting to hold it, read it and use it. Dementia-Friendly Worship arrived and page after page filled my heart and mind. In the spirit of Dementia Friends' commitment to transform how we think, act and talk about dementia, this book adds how we engage spiritually with those living with dementia. More than a book, Dementia-Friendly Worship is a veritable library, each chapter a volume written by dedicated and knowledgeable scholars and spiritual leaders who live and serve in close proximity to the realities of dementia. They bless us with their perspectives, ideas, experiences and tools that will help spiritual leaders invite persons living with dementia to draw near to God, even as we enter their holy space. Above all, the authors collectively remind us again and again the affirmations we share across all faith traditions: God is with us and loves us; do not fear; love one another; uphold each other's humanity and come before God's presence together. For months I have been telling my circle of parish pastors, chaplains and spiritual directors, "Dementia-Friendly Worship is coming....it's coming." I'm delighted now to tell them, "It's here!" Author: Cynthia L. Ray, M.Div., Executive Director, PAHSA: Presbyterian Association of Homes & Services for the Aging
- Publisher : Jessica Kingsley Publishers (June 21, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 328 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1785926659
- ISBN-13 : 978-1785926655
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.98 x 0.74 x 9.02 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,420,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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That haggard and lonely tree, thrusting upward from its barren perch.
That life-thirsting tree, whispering to me from its encrusted roots: “Despite all…I am still here.”
The image of that tree on this book’s cover is what compels me to write this. It resounds deep in the lost mines of my memory…to those moments when I heard Martha’s silent, disturbed presence whispering to me midway through our 17-year odyssey. She no longer could walk or talk or take care of herself. And yet I knew. I knew that despite all appearances, something deep within Martha was still here. All but hidden to my physical senses, life still stirred within my wife…“I am still here.”
This cover photo of 'Dementia-Friendly Worship' is so reflective of the book’s foundational theme: No matter what stage of dementia a person may be in, early or advanced, communicative or not, no one—NO ONE—is ever an “empty shell.”
This perspective flies in the face of popular opinion—if the mind is gone, the person is gone. That was the common view when Martha was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 1997, three weeks after turning fifty.
It still is today, but that may be changing somewhat. 'Dementia-Friendly Worship' has the potential to help melt this icy stigma.
“… in spite of the cognitive and other limitations imposed by dementias, the essence of the person, their core, their soul, is still there, very much alive,” say this book’s senior editors, Lynda Everman and Dr. Don Wendorf, PsyD, retired psychologist. “It’s so easy to focus on what people with dementia can no longer do; it is of utmost importance—not to mention inspirational, transformative, and redemptive—to observe what they still can do. And are doing!”
“But we have to be receptive to it,” says Don.
Dr. Daniel C. Potts, neurologist, puts it another way: “Of all the losses associated with dementia, I believe the greatest loss is that of relationship…What fuels the toxicity of this stigma, of this pulling away? I believe it is our failure to recognize and honor the inherent personhood of every human being, regardless of conditions or circumstances.”
Based on all that I’ve read, 'Dementia-Friendly Worship' is a one-of-a-kind book. Its collection of insights is described as “a multi-faith handbook for chaplains, clergy, and faith communities.” It draws from 48 contributors/editors who come from a variety of traditions: Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Native American.
Dementia, after all, is not prejudiced against any religion or faith or spiritual belief. Even agnostics and atheists are gazed upon with equal regard.
“We use the word ‘faith’ broadly,” says Lynda. “This book is for anyone who believes in a power beyond themselves.” She and husband Don collaborated with UsAgainstAlzheimer’s to make 'Dementia-Friendly Worship' a reality.
No doubt, 'Dementia-Friendly Worship' is for chaplains, clergy, and faith communities as the subtitle indicates. But it’s also for the friends and family of those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, their caregivers. That’s easy to see as you thumb through its pages. This is a book to be fully read, though not necessarily front to back. It’s to be read in bite-sized chunks rather than in one sitting. There’s too much to process here as you reflect on your own experiences. It’s also a book to be referred to often.
A powerful section is “Voices of Persons Living with Dementia”. Listen to Greg O’Brien, an award-winning journalist: “And so it is with control. I’ve learned through my disease that one relinquishes control to gain control at the foot of a higher power. That’s the blessing of the disease…Many (spiritual leaders) don’t fully comprehend dementia; like most of us, the word literally scares the hell out of them, a biblical demon howling in the desert, or many perhaps opt for the simple drive-by—a smile, a handshake, ‘hi ya,’ a handoff of a scriptural verse, a reassuring word, or a blank stare—then off to work the flock at large…”
Rabbi Cary D. Kozberg discusses how those with dementia and their caregivers can become strangers living among us. It’s vital to make them feel comfortable and loved, he says, quoting Leviticus 19:33-34: “If a stranger sojourns in your land, you shall do him no wrong…you shall love him as yourself, for you too were strangers once in the land of Egypt.”
What a strong resonance with our 17-year experience. I call those years our odyssey rather than a journey. To me, “journey” sounds too tame and too planned for a crisis like Alzheimer’s. In the classical sense of “odyssey” you wake up one day unexpectedly in a foreign land. You’re lost, you’re hurt, and you’re confused. You want to get back home. You’ll go anywhere and do anything to get home. And when you do get home—IF you do—you find that home is not the same place as when you left. And you’re not the same person.
Bishop Ken Carder closes 'Dementia-Friendly Worship' with this: “The expressions of love change, but the reality endures…(My wife) Linda no longer comprehends the word ‘love.’ Yet she expresses and responds to love! Language now fails her; but gentle touch, brushing her hair, a smile assures her of value and worth. She can no longer feed herself, so slowly placing food in her mouth becomes a sacrament of love. Love is not sentimentalism or warm fuzzy feelings. It is entering into the messiness, anguish, resistance, and hostility of the beloved with a non-anxious, gentle presence.”
The wisdom and hard-won insights that fill the pages of 'Dementia-Friendly Worship' are priceless.
Any cleric would do well to have at least one copy of this book at the ready, whether they are in a church, a synagogue, a temple, an assisted living facility, a veteran’s facility, a nursing home, a prison, or a mission field. And every seminary would be smart to make this book required reading for its pastoral care studies.
Finally, 'Dementia-Friendly Worship' isn’t a typical caregiver’s guidebook, but it certainly would be a worthy complement to those you now rely on.
Carlen Maddux, author of "A Path Revealed: How Hope, Love, and Joy Found Us Deep in a Maze Called Alzheimer’s"
Dr. Richard L.Morgan
Thank you for this much-needed resource. I benefited from reading of all the various settings and ministries referred to in the book. And I especially appreciated the references to Daphne Johnston and the respite ministry of FUMC Montgomery.Through that ministry I have seen with my own eyes how becoming a dementia-friendly congregation will actually help any faith community find revitalization and renewal. Church members come alive when they find they are doing something that makes a clear difference in individuals, families, and the community.”
— Bishop R. Lawson Bryan, South Georgia Conference, United Methodist Church