Rev. Dr. Tony J. Craddock, Sr., Associate Minister & Stephanie M. Craddock, Small Groups Director & Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator, First Mount Zion Baptist Church, Dumfries, Virginia
We believe Dementia-Friendly Worship is fulfilled within the Great Commission; Matthew 28: 18-20. The love of God has no boundaries or limitations, and this provides our places of worship opportunities to lead with empathy while building a more inclusive, compassionate and loving community, ultimately transforming the lives of members with dementia and their families. Even if expressive ability is imperiled, Dementia-Friendly Worship provides opportunities to experience a form of worship that encourages participation and engagement through creative and spirit-filled moments during worship. This form of worship allows communities, family members and those affected with dementia the opportunity to share the wonders of God's love together.
Bishop Lawson Bryan, South Georgia Conference, United Methodist Church
My own experience in dementia ministry resonates with every section of this book. It provides theological foundations for dementia-friendly worship. It is filled with specific steps to be followed in creating dementia-friendly faith communities. Faith communities are uniquely positioned to move to the leading edge of addressing this major need of society. In this book the reader will be equipped with the understanding and practical tools needed to start the life-giving, hope-filled journey of creating dementia-friendly worship and dementia-friendly faith communities. I have seen how this experience can revitalize an entire congregation and for that reason I welcome this book as a key resource for all faith communities.
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, Director, Jewish Sacred Aging®
Dementia-Friendly Worship provides a valuable, practical and spiritually uplifting resource for clergy of all faiths who seek meaningful ways to minister to this ever-expanding community. The personal reflections, as well as the examples of worship services from various venues, allow clergy to see and hear the voices and souls of those we care for.
Rich Behers, DMin., BCC, CFHPC, Spiritual Care Program Manager, CPE Supervisor, Cornerstone Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc.
"Dynamic, comprehensive, practical" are three words to describe Dementia-Friendly Worship. Too often people living with dementia are not invited nor involved in worship mainly because worship leaders do not know how to communicate with them. Dementia-Friendly Worship presents ideas and concepts from many faith perspectives that can be used to enhance worship in this population. Worship is not just for the lucid and healthy, but for all people which includes persons living with dementia. Thank you to Lynda Everman and Don Wendorf for putting together a book that will become a classic in the field of dementia care.
Bishop Minerva Garza Carcaño, Resident Bishop, San Francisco Area, The United Methodist Church
My beloved mother, Rebecca, died not that long ago. She had suffered the impact of Alzheimer's for 20 years. As her eldest child I struggled with how to accompany her on this cruel journey. With my siblings I experienced that first death when we had to let go of who our mother had been and accept who she became with Alzheimer's. We eventually settled in to years of learning and caring for her, while also receiving so much from her resistance to allowing her illness to erase her faith. She loved to hear the Psalms. She would close her eyes and become peaceful when I would say to her that I was going to pray for her. To her last days of life, she would hum her favorite songs of faith at daybreak. It took me too long to realize that the faith within her was sustaining her and needed nurturing. How I wish this book had been written earlier. I am deeply grateful, though, that it will bless those who live with and care for those afflicted by dementia and Alzheimer's until it is eradicated.
Cynthia L. Ray, M.Div., Executive Director, PAHSA: Presbyterian Association of Homes & Services for the Aging
Since 2017, when Lynda Everman shared her vision for this book with me, I have been eagerly waiting to hold it, read it and use it. Dementia-Friendly Worship arrived and page after page filled my heart and mind. In the spirit of Dementia Friends' commitment to transform how we think, act and talk about dementia, this book adds how we engage spiritually with those living with dementia. More than a book, Dementia-Friendly Worship is a veritable library, each chapter a volume written by dedicated and knowledgeable scholars and spiritual leaders who live and serve in close proximity to the realities of dementia. They bless us with their perspectives, ideas, experiences and tools that will help spiritual leaders invite persons living with dementia to draw near to God, even as we enter their holy space. Above all, the authors collectively remind us again and again the affirmations we share across all faith traditions: God is with us and loves us; do not fear; love one another; uphold each other's humanity and come before God's presence together. For months I have been telling my circle of parish pastors, chaplains and spiritual directors, "Dementia-Friendly Worship is coming....it's coming." I'm delighted now to tell them, "It's here!"