Faith communities are in a key position to engage people of all ages in issues related to advance care planning, serious illness, caregiving and grief.

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) recognizes the importance of helping faith leaders acquire the skills to address these issues with their congregations – whether it is speaking about the importance of advance care planning, facilitating conversations about end-of-life care or supporting families after the loss of a loved one.

Many faith leaders are not fully prepared to support people as they deal with these often difficult issues. In fact, one survey found that fewer than 20% of faith leaders offer any education for their congregations related to end of life, serious illness, or advance care planning, and half said they are not comfortable discussing the spiritual aspects of advance care planning with others.

Partners in Caring Toolkit

To help faith leaders gain these skills, CCCC partnered with the Center for Health Care Decisions to develop the Partners in Caring seminar for faith leaders. This workshop provides information and skills to help faith leaders support members of their congregations who are seriously ill and their families and loved ones. It also provides information on advance care planning and POLST as well as ways to have conversations about these important topics with members of their congregations.

We are now working with local coalitions around the state to host these seminars and to raise awareness of the importance of advance care planning in faith communities.

Local coalitions and other community organizations are encouraged to download the Partners in Caring Toolkit to learn how to host a workshop in your own community.