Wayne Yoder, lay leader at Pinto (Md.) Mennonite Church and Laurelville board member, shares about his experience at the recent End-of-Life Education workshop:

The Everence End-of-life Education workshop was an information-packed series of six sessions that were a very beneficial time for thinking about transition from this life to the next. This information is useful regardless of one’s age, as all of us will be making the transition at some time: for some individuals with “advance warning”, but for many without warning. For all adults, I believe the materials covered in the workshop are very worthwhile.

Recently I had the opportunity to spend time with Don Ziegler and with Jerry Shank in Akron, Pa. As Don and Jerry were two of the originators of much of the content of the workshop, I was feeling some of their spirit for why it is important to consider its content. What if I become mentally or physically incapacitated as I approach the end of my life? Who determines, and how will my wishes be fulfilled? During the workshop I was especially made aware of the “gift” we are able to pass to our loved ones when we have done the work that is suggested in the six sessions of the workshop.

The “End-of-life curriculum guide” and “Personal financial affairs directory” produced by Everence are two important documents that can help in planning for one’s final transition and making that transition easier for loved ones. These documents as well as other stewardship materials are available free at http://www.everence.com/end-of-life-planning.

Our presenter, Beryl Jantzi, Stewardship Education Director for Everence, noted that “living well, aging well, and dying well all require planning….Very few things of significance happen without some intentionality.” So why not be intentional and plan well for your final transition? Do not force your decisions to be crisis-driven.

Angela Dietzel, Laurelville Program Director, and her mother, Joanne Dietzel, led the participants in worship during evening and morning prayers and final worship and communion. These times were meaningfully related to the workshop content. They served well to put our lives into eternal perspective.

Over 30 people gathered at Laurelville for three days in August for the End-of-Life Education workshop, co-sponsored by Everence and Laurelville. The event drew participants from Mennonite Church USA, Church of the Brethren, Conservative Mennonite Conference, and United Methodist Churches, including medical professionals, attorneys, educators, pastors and lay leaders. The workshop was led by Beryl Jantzi, Everence Stewardship Education Director, and focused on End-of-Life curriculum materials which provide a way for families, pastors, and other professionals to discuss and plan for end-of-life issues. These materials are available from Everence here.