Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice

Organizing Your Final Exit

Summary
Workshop Number: 
49
Leaders: 
Larry Jalowiec, William D. Hartman, esq.
Who may register?: 
Adult Only (high school with permission)
Worship/Worship-Sharing: 
20%
Lecture: 
30%
Discussion: 
30%
Experiential Activities: 
20%
full-time attenders only

Only 30% of Americans have a last will and testament. Fewer have completed medical and legal powers of attorney, living wills, and estate plans. This workshop will help Friends to understand the important decisions to enable their families and themselves to have a thoughtful and loving end of life plan.

Workshop Description

Only 30% of Americans have made a last will, fewer have completed medical and legal powers of attorney, living wills and estate plans. Fear of the unknown and family issues often abound. This workshop aims to help Friends choose between leaving loved ones with consideration or in a state of confusion. While none of us gets out of here alive, workshop participants may get to depart with a bit more dignity and leave things tidier for those who will mourn their loss and . . . pick up the pieces.

Our objective is to engage Friends in a five-day experience of spiritual discernment as they consider their final days and the many choices they have about end of life decision making.  Our goal is that Friends will depart Gathering with enough of the groundwork laid for their advance directives, last will, and funeral and estate planning for next steps with their attorney at home.  

This workshop is a “survey course.”  It will give attention to such topics as:

  • hospice care
  • long-term care insurance
  • medical and legal powers of attorney
  • a living will
  • Do Not Resuscitate Orders
  • last will and testament
  • life insurance considerations
  • estate planning
  • stewardship concerns
  • funeral planning
  • green burial

This is a great place to get answers to many of your questions and to get moving on getting these important documents and plans done.  It is important to note that while various topics including wills and estate planning will be discussed, our presenting attorneys are prohibited from providing legal advice.  This workshop will not include discussion about “right to die” issues.

We plan to begin each session with 15 to 30 minutes of worship followed by 50 minutes of instruction and small-group worship sharing. Beyond that simple framework, we intend to keep the structure fluid and follow the energy in the room. Depending upon the topic and sense of the group, facilitators may engage Q&A conversation, guided imagery and breakout groups. Periodically, when things get heavy, facilitators will take us into worship.  Friends are going to be talking about death and its implications – inheritances, for example. Decisions over who gets what and who does not have delayed many wills in process, as have important considerations for taking care of challenging children or loved ones with special needs.  Worship sharing opportunities could give Friends a sense of how to approach these types of vexing issues.

This “Organized Exit” workshop is a response to a concept field tested at the 2013 Gathering in Greeley, CO.  With only minimal promotion, the attendance – 22 participants – was astonishing.  Friends were so moved to share their stories and know more that we went over time. We are grateful for this opportunity to engage in our ministry of stewardship and invite you to join us as we consider how best to prepare for the end of the journey. 

Registrants may be asked to complete and submit a pre-Gathering questionnaire that will help frame our time together. While the bookstore will stock some related titles, any required pre-Gathering reading will be in article form provided via email or download.  During the Gathering, participants may be assigned specific questions to consider and matters to reflect upon outside workshop time.

9. Do you have any other recommendations for group participants, such as age, occupation, or gender? No attorneys or financial planners.

Leader Experience

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP LEADERS AND PRESENTERS:

Larry Jalowiec is FGC’s Director of Stewardship Services.  He has traveled extensively among Friends co-presenting workshops at monthly meetings on Financial and Estate Planning with a team of top advisors from Everence, the Mennonite financial organization.  Larry is committed to his ministry of stewardship and helping Friends for the sake of their loved ones and their own piece of mind.  He and his wife Ann Tucker have two sons, Dylan and Travis. They are members of Richland Friends Meeting in Quakertown, Pa.

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William D. Hartman, III, J.D.  serves as vice president of organization services for Everence Financial.  Bill is a graduate of Penn State and Widener University School of Law.  Bill has a calling to help people, families, and institutions discover the joy of integrating their faith and finances.  Bill was pivotal in forming the unique partnership of Everence and Friends General Conference that created the FGC Stewardship Services Program.  His important ongoing support as Everence's liaison to the program has been critical to its success in serving Friends across the country. He and his wife Dot and two daughters, are members of Hope Community Church, Fleetwood, Pa.

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Connie McPeak Green is a retired hospice nurse. She has given numerous workshops on living intentionally and dying mindfully. She is co-author of the Pendle Hill Pamphlet "Matthew 18: Wisdom for Living in Community." Connie is a member of Cleveland (Ohio) Meeting. 

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Lynn Clark is an attorney with a general law practice which includes wills, trusts, and advanced directives for health care. She serves as a guardian for the Summit County Probate Court and has experience in real estate transfers and senior services such as Passport and Medicaid Waiver.  Lynn is a member of the Cleveland Friends Meeting and is married to Nancy Reeves. They have one daughter, Emma.