March Volunteer Spotlight on: The Successful Aging Strategies Team

Coordinating Team would like to thank and recognize the Successful Aging Strategies Team — Patty Carlisle, Ed Hall, Jan Hall, Michele Nelson, and Debi Streett-Idell — for their leadership in organizing the Successful Aging Strategies Mini-Conference this month (starts March 15, 10 am to noon!).

WHAT INSPIRED THIS TEAM TO GET STARTED?
Some of us had read Dr. Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal and were so inspired by it that we asked Reverend Sharon to read and consider it for a Chalice service. Some of us had had that close brush with mortality and others have dealt with aging and dying loved ones, so the topics he discussed were meaningful.

WHAT HAS BEEN MOST HELPFUL TO YOU IN DOING THIS WORK?
Every member of the team had questions about aging for which we were independently seeking answers. We have been amazed at the amount of information that is available and the willingness of professionals to speak at this miniconference.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE WORK YOU ARE DOING?
The synergy of creating together. Every member of our team has stepped up to attend meetings, identify other resources like UCSD Stein center, attend “Death Cafes”*, or do research on our presenters, for example. Judy Winn provided the graphic design for our logo and will be videotaping each session. Brittany Keegan and Reverend Elizabeth helped us inform cluster churches about this event. Reverend Sharon has been a valued advisor throughout the process.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE CHALICE CONGREGANTS WILL TAKE AWAY FROM THE MINI-CONFERENCE?
We hope our congregants will be empowered to seek out and create their own qualified support system and work with their families to insure that they are able to live their vision of a good, fully engaged life to the very end. We also hope that our larger community sees Chalice as a source of information and support.

WHAT NEXT (AFTER THE MINI-CONFERENCE)?
We have briefly spoken about holding a “Death Café” and other small group interactive opportunities, but for now we just want this series of workshops to be successful. * Death Café: A google search reveals these are meetings where people are able to talk safely about death. No agenda, no sales, just interesting conversation over tea and cake.

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