Date of Award

5-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

Degree Name

D.Min.

Abstract

There are a number of hospice patients and their families struggling through the end-of-life journey without the aid and comfort of a faith community. Some of these families have been separated from faith communities for many years. Hospice provides spiritual care to all patients who will accept chaplain support. However, there is still a place for the local church to join in the care plan for hospice patients and their families. As a Heartland Hospice chaplain and local pastor the researcher became aware there was a divide between Heartland Hospice and local churches in the area. This project was designed to build a bridge between hospice and the church by preparing church members to become hospice volunteers. The project design was to assist church members to dispel their myths about hospice, address unresolved fear of death and dying, and realize the need for a hospice volunteer ministry at the church. Project participants gained knowledge and experience in being hospice volunteers through hands on caring for ten hospice-patients from their church membership. This project has been instrumental in transforming Mount Carmel’s current hospice patient ministry within the congregation.

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