When I started writing this newsletter issue, I wrote "I’m choosing to not write about COVID-19." That was a few days ago.
That's still mostly true. Because there are many voices and much information.
But I don't want to be a primary resource for COVID-19 information. I'm not currently a congregational leader. I already work at home mostly. And my chaplain work can' be done remotely.
What I will continue to write about is death and support and visiting. Because whatever the cause, people still face loss and grief. Whether it’s this disease or that trauma, the death rate is still about 100%. (I wrote about that.)
Recent writing I've done
I had a wonderful podcast conversation with Dr Lee Warren about how to talk to people who are going through difficult times. A neurosurgeon by training, he just published I’ve Seen the End of You, a book that addresses the question, “When there’s no hope of recovery, how do you recover hope?”
When you least expect it, you may find yourself leading a funeral or memorial service or celebration of life. Giving a Life Meaning is what I would send you if you asked for help. Reflecting my experience in communication and chaplaincy, I help readers build competence and confidence. We walk through the pieces of a service, answering questions and offering examples and samples. It’s not for everyone, thankfully, but if you or someone you know is in this situation, this book will help. (If you are one of the people who has read it, I'd be grateful for an honest review.) (Fun fact. I just was asked to do a funeral. I immediately turned to my own book.)
What I'm reading (thanks to people like you)
Dr Jamie Aten writes well and honestly about "Spiritual advice for surviving cancer and other disasters"
Leslie Verner writes about "Learning to live in kairos time" as she reflects on the death of a friend. And this is the post she points to, her friend's "benediction of peace".
When people ask me to pray for them, I often say, "What would you like me to ask?" Wayne Jacobson suggests that there may be some of those requests he would turn down. Do you ever refuse a prayer request?
Psychological safety was the number one key to a successful team at Google. What's it mean? "Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed?". That is a massive insight for why teams work ... and don't work. And these days, we need to help teams work.
And a poem: Perhaps the world ends here by Joy Harjo.
In closing. . .
Thanks for your participation in this project. And thanks for the work you do helping people. I'm more aware than ever of the value of simple, thoughtful, deliberate conversations.
Again, if you know this is helpful for someone else, please forward this email to them with your endorsement. I'd love to be able to help more people doing what you are doing.
And, if you'd like to know more about supporting this project and 300wordsADay.com please read "sustaining".
See you next month!