Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Helping people to retain their beliefs

These days it is not so easy for people with dementia or memory problems to retain the spiritual beliefs, as many church leaders are simply not interested

I always remember a curate at church  telling me,  that it was a waste of his time going into care homes,  because those living there were not interested and just went to sleep while he was there

What he meant was, they were  not interested in his modern forms of service, because they were brought up with the old forms of service, using old well known hymns and prayers.


I think with his sermons, many people would have lost the will to stay awake as they were long winded and boring

I personally found this comment  to be a total insult,  because he simply had not got a clue as to how he could react with these people,  but apparently, this is the modern church..
Church leaders these days  consider the word spirituality to mean 100% religious beliefs and nothing else.

But in reality a person's spirituality these days, is about who the person is,  and how they want to be treated, along with what they enjoy so much in life

This is something I spoke about a couple of years ago at a conference, and it was well received, although it took me nearly a month to get it clear in my head before the event, because spirituality means so many things,  to different people  these days

If I can find it,  I will repost it later.

Yes they may be very religious, with one form  of religion or belief, but like many people I was brought up with the older forms of service and enjoyed this way of life .

These days there are many groups being set up by and for people with memory and neurological illnesses, who are interested in retaining their religious beliefs, and are supported by clergy from one domination or another, or can be done in short by reading from a book
One such book is one that I have at home and is called
Worshipping with Dementia

A book that I mentioned to the curate that I wrote about before.

This book contains

Meditations, Scriptures, and Prayers for people with dementia and their carers
The book was Edited by Louise Morsels.

This covers scriptures and short sermons, and not long winded ones as we hear in churches these days.

It should get remembered that many of us do not have the attention span we used to have, and many of us simply switch off after a while

What is more, I know that like many others, my memory is total rubbish these days, and if I don't write something down fast,  it's gone for hours or sometimes days, before I remember it again
I always remember the Canon at our church, when I was in the choir as a boy, telling the congregation, that if a priest could not say what he wanted with 10 mins, he simply could not do a sermon and was in the wrong Job?

His idea was that a sermon should be short and you the point, otherwise people would drift off to sleep with boredom.

This is  one thing that many clergy simply forget when doing services in care homes etc, because they are not trained to cope with the elderly, or those with neurological illnesses any more.

I hope that one day churches will realise that the elderly are in many cases more important  than the younger people, because they have more complex needs

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