Aging and Spirituality: Finding Courage and Resilience
We can find ourselves in new territory where much is unknown as we face challenges and difficulties in illness, in the aging process, and in dying. In the same way the grit inside an oyster transforms into a pearl, we wonder if our fear and frustration can be transformed into something just as beautiful in us.
You are invited to a time of learning, reflection, and self-care.
We will be led by a collaborative, experienced group of spiritual companions of various faith traditions who work in long-term care, hospice, and the community: Teresa Bryant, Miriam Frey, Dale Guenter, Jane Kuepfer, Celia McBride, and Maureen McDonnell.
The context of the gathering will allow time for contemplation, relaxation, and community connections. Join us as we consider and experience together the role of spirituality in finding courage and resilience in our work, in our homes, and within ourselves. Come for one day, two days, or make it a retreat and stay overnight at Grebel.
June 13 and 14, 2019, 10 AM–4PM
$85/day, overnight cost extra
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada, N2L 3G6
The Spirituality and Aging Program
Spirituality and Aging is a program area of the Research Institute for Aging. Its two-fold purpose is to promote and disseminate research in the field of spirituality and aging that will enhance the well-being of older adults; and to be a resource to students, community clergy, chaplains, and caregivers through university classes, public lectures, and workshops.
Learn more about the Spirituality and Aging Program.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about Spirituality and Aging.
Bill Randall (Fall 2018)
About Bill Randall
Bill Randall, MDiv, EdD, is Professor of Gerontology at St. Thomas University. Prior to entering academic life, he was a minister with the United Church of Canada, serving pastorates in Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick. A graduate of Harvard, Princeton Seminary, and the University of Toronto, he is author or co-author of over 60 scholarly publications on topics related to "narrative gerontology", with a special interest in the importance of "narrative care" with older adults. Among his books are: Reading Our Lives: The Poetics of Growing Old (with Elizabeth McKim, Oxford UP, 2008) and The Narrative Complexity of Ordinary Life: Tales from the Coffee Shop (Oxford 2015).
Public lecture: "Aging as a Natural Monastery: Spirituality in Later Life"
Date: Thursday, November,15, 2018
Overview: Join Bill Randall in considering the many respects in which aging is an inherently spiritual process- not religious necessarily, but spiritual (broadly defined). Despite prevailing perceptions of aging as a matter of inevitable decline, the challenges and changes that come with it can be experienced as nature's way of nudging us into the adventure of truly growing old (vs. just getting old)- growing in insight, understanding, and compassion.
Public lecture: "Spirituality, Aging, and Narrative: The Sacred Art of Story-Telling"
Date: Friday, November 16, 2018
Overview: When someone says, "That's the story of my life," what do you understand them to mean? Is their story one of liberation or loss? Is it a tragedy, a comedy, a romance, an adventure? Is it rooted in a larger story, of a people, a community, a family, a faith? In the morning session, we will explore the intersections between spirituality and narrative, and between narrative and aging, focusing on both the unique developmental tasks of later life, and the challenges aging poses to our stories. The afternoon will introduce the sacred art of story-listening and prepare participants to provide narrative care.
Kristine Theurer (Fall 2017)
Public lecture: "The Need for a Spiritual Revolution in Residential Care"
Date: Friday, November 17, 2017
Overview: There's an urgent need for a spiritual revolution in residential care. How can we better engage community in meeting spiritual needs? How do we continue to have meaningful friendships/relationships into old age, and what structures might support that, in our churches, in retirement communities and in long term care? The purpose of this seminar is to engage attendees in an interactive exploration of a new spiritual approach to psychosocial care within residential care (including long-term care homes, assisted living, and retirement homes)
2006 - Dr. Ellen Bouchard Ryan (McMaster University - Professor of Psychiatry & Gerontology
- "Spiritual Care for persons with dementia, Fostering Personhood through communication"
2007 - Nancy Kriseman (Georgia - Geriatric Social Worker)
2008 - Rev. Dr. James Ellor (Baylor University, Texas - Social Work Professor - Editor of Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging)
- "Spiritual Assessment"
2009 - Rev. Dr. Peter Barnes (Ottawa/Newfoundland - Pastoral Counsellor Specialist)
- "Palliative Care"
2010 - Rev. George Handzo (Healthcare Chaplaincy Network - Director of Health Services Research & Quality)
- "Spirituality & health care in institutions)
2011 - Dr. Steven Sandage (Bethel Theological Seminary - Psychologist)
2012 - Dr. Susan and Rev. John McFadden (Wisconsin - Professor of Psychology, and Chaplain
- "Spirituality, Friendship, and Community in Late Life"
2014 - Dr. Ken Pargament (Bowling Green University - Professor of Psychology)
- "Spiritual Transformation, Sacred Moments in Healing and Relationships"
2015 - Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov (University of Manitoba - Director of Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit)
- "Dignity in End-of-Life Care"
2017 - Kristine Theurer (Java Group Programs - Founder and President)
- "The Need for a Spiritual Revolution in Residential Care"
2018 - Dr. Bill Randall (St. Thomas University - Professor of Gerontology)
- "Aging as a Natural Monastery: Spirituality in Later Life"
- "Spirituality, Aging, and Narrative: The Sacred Art of Story-Telling"