End of Life


Living well, aging well and dying well all require planning. However, the topics of death and dying are very difficult, if not impossible, to talk about – within our homes, churches and even medical institutions. Join this end-of-life workshop to learn how to lead groups through these important discussions.

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Beryl JantziBeryl Jantzi currently serves as Everence Stewardship Education Director and lives in Harrisonburg, VA. Prior to working for Everence he pastored in PA and VA for 23 years – most recently as lead pastor at Harrisonburg Mennonite, VA from 1996-2005. He was moderator of VA Mennonite Conference from 2004-2010 and currently serves as the overseer for the Southern District of the VA. Mennonite Conference. Beryl has an M. Div from Eastern Mennonite Seminary and a D.Min from Lancaster Theological Seminary. He and his wife Margo Maust, a teacher librarian have two daughters Rose and Melissa both of whom are students at Eastern Mennonite University. “Living well, aging well and dying well come about as a result of thoughtful planning and conversation. I am of the conviction that we are better working at these issues within community rather than by ourselves. The Everence end-of-life curriculum is one way to initiate conversation on important end-of life topics. We invite you to join with others over this three day retreat as we receive training on how to initiate these important conversations back in our home settings. Bring a team from your church or retirement community if you are able and begin plans on how to start up your own end-of-life ministry.” – Beryl Jantzi

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Tues., Aug. 12

4:00 p.m. Arrival and check-in (Early room check in is available if you’d like to come early and enjoy the grounds.)5:30 Dinner
7:00 Session 1: The benefits of planning well
8:30 Evening prayers
9:00 Refreshments and fellowship

Wed., Aug. 13

8:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 Morning prayers
9:30 Session 2: Tame and wild dying
10:30 Break
11:00 Session 3: Advance care plan for a peaceful departure
12:00 Lunch
1:30 p.m. Session 4: What to do with my body
2:30 Break
2:45 Small-group discussions
3:45 Time for personal reflection or recreation
5:30 Dinner
7:00 Session 5: Necessary family conversations
8:30 Evening prayers
9:00 Refreshments and fellowship

 Thurs., Aug. 14

8:00 a.m. Breakfast
9:30 Session 6: Making your wishes known
10:30 Closing worship
11:30 Lunch
12:30 p.m. Room check-out

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Program Specific FAQ

The highly adaptable End-of-life curriculum offers

Six key areas of conversation:

  1. The benefits of planning well
  2. Tame and wild dying
  3. Advance care plan for a peaceful departure
  4. What to do with my body
  5. Necessary family conversations
  6. Making your wishes known

Workshop goals

  • Introduce the End-of-life curriculum, equip participants to teach the curriculum and take back valuable resources to share in their unique contexts
  • Bring difficult, timely topics to the forefront and wrestle with the questions together
  • Gain feedback from a variety of perspectives
  • Experience times of worship together to receive assurance amidst questions

Who should attend?

  • Pastors and congregational lay leaders
  • Adult Sunday school teachers
  • Retirees and family members
  • Attorneys, funeral directors, medical professionals, hospice workers, retirement home staff and other professionals who deal with end-of-life issues

People from diverse experiences, both personal and professional, have perspectives to help us talk about what it means to live into our mortality, even as we live with hope beyond this life. Few things of significance happen without some intentionality. Few things of value come from the efforts of just one person. So we invite you to join in this intentional conversation within community.
May we learn to be good stewards of our lives and model the benefits of planning well for our departure from this world, freeing our loved ones from burdens and decisions on our behalf.

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Resources info

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