Symposium on Preparing for Death

This event will take place at Red Door Church in South Royalton, VT, on Sunday, March 21st from 1:30pm to 5pm. We will be livestreaming portions of the event to our Facebook Page with scheduled posts and to our YouTube channel. You can watch them all here on our website.

This month we are putting on an event here at Red Door Church addressing a topic that most of us avoid: death.

Why talk about death?

For one, because most of us have been touched by death over the last year as the world has reeled from the COVID-19 pandemic.

But also because experienced practitioners in fields like hospice care and funeral services who face death on a regular basis will tell you that greater harm is done when we avoid the topic.

Maggie Callanan, in her excellent book Final Journeys, says in the introduction that what led her to write the book was her father’s honest confession during his dying days: “I don’t know how to do this!”

Part of our ignorance is the simple fact that we avoid or completely ignore the topic until we are forced to acknowledge it through the death of a loved one or our own mortality.

This event is designed to help us begin thinking more about this daunting topic. We are bringing together experienced local practitioners from various fields to put on workshops about various topics to help us plan and prepare for death. Here’s a glimpse at the workshops and talks we have planned thus far:

-What is Hospice Care?

-Preparing for Life’s Final Journey? (Funeral Services)

-Walking Alongside the Bereaved

-General Estate Planning (POA and Wills)

-Advanced Medical Directives

-What Matters Most in the End (Faith and Death)

For those of you who cannot attend, we will be livestreaming and recording the event. We will also have a resource table with books and pamphlets available for purchase at significant discounts.

COVID-19

First and foremost, if you are feeling ill please refrain from coming and participating in the event. We have in place a handful of COVID-19 protocols to do our part in keeping everyone safe during the event.

-All of our workshop leaders and presenters have had their temperature taken upon entry.

-Signs will be put on display throughout the building to guide everyone through the building safely.

-Sanitizer stations are located in strategic places.

-Bathrooms will be wiped down between uses by our volunteers.

-Maps will be handed out to each attendee to ensure everyone knows where things are and where the appropriate places to enter and exit rooms are located.

-We will all be practicing social distancing and wearing masks.

We do hope you will join us for this event! It’s completely free to you thanks to the sponsorship of a number of organizations like Hope Home Care Services in Bethel, Vermont, Thrivent Financial Services, and Bayada Hospice.

Baccalaureate 2019 at Red Door

At significant moment’s in our lives it is appropriate and even expected to take time to reflect upon the past, celebrate the present, and look with hope and anticipation into the future.

On June 9th, at 4:00 p.m. at Red Door Church in South Royalton we will have one of those significant moments as students and their families join local community leaders at our annual Baccalaureate Service to celebrate our first ever graduating class of White River Valley Wildcat’s.  Our goal is to propel them into the next chapter of their lives and to give them a positive vision for their future.

In the past it was customary for schools to put together a religious service to allow spiritual leaders (and students) to address the graduating student body as they prepared to enter the world.  At the university level, because most schools were originally founded for the education of ministers in the propagation of the Christian gospel these services would have been a normal part of the ebb and flow of university life.  Schools like Dartmouth, Lafayette, Wake Forest, Harvard, Yale, Princeton and many others all have Christian roots and their graduation ceremonies in the past would have reflected that.

While I had trouble finding an authoritative source on the subject, it seems that Baccalaureate services began during times when graduating oratory students would deliver sermons in Latin as part of their training.   The services were times to celebrate and worship God for lives dedicated to learning and the pursuit of wisdom.

Today, it is mainly the responsibility of churches and the students themselves to put together these services.  Over the years these services have evolved.  Our service is intended to be a time of celebration, inspiration, motivation and enrichment involving peoples of various backgrounds and traditions. Through video, music, song, prayer, speeches, and gifts we hope to put wind in the sails of graduating students as they embark on a new chapter in life.

We are honored to be working with the students of White River Valley School and other community leaders to put together a service that will be a treasured memory in the lives of the students, their friends, and family for many years to come.

We hope to see you there!

Small Town Summit in Vermont

This Wednesday Christians will gather at Red Door Church in South Royalton, Vermont to seek the face of God and learn from other New England pastors and ministry leaders about doing ministry in small places.

The exciting event has been given the title: “Small Town Summit.”

From the Small Town Summits website:

Small Town Summits are small, local, affordable gatherings of Christians who long for God’s glory to spread throughout the small places of New England. We welcome pastors and lay leaders, men and women. Partnering with The Gospel Coalition New England, our Summits provide support, training, encouragement, and connection for New England churches beyond the urban centers.

Much of New England lies beyond the cities. Therefore, to reach this region for Christ many gospel workers must minister in the small places. We want to encourage and equip these faithful ministers. We don’t disdain the big conferences in the big cities with the well-known speakers (we attend and benefit from them). But our Summits are a bit different. We intend to go small: small conferences in small places for small-town Christian workers.

In common parlance, the term ‘summit’ describes a gathering of leaders for the purpose of making significant decisions. Our Summits gather pastors and ministry leaders within a State or region. We learn from one another as we pray and plan for gospel advance. We worship together, eat together, talk together, learn together, and pray together.

The goal of Small Town Summits is to see the small places of New England filled with healthy, missional, gospel-centered churches and Christian workers, for the glory of God.

If you are a Christian pastor or lay-leader and are interested in coming, you can register here.