Faith Outreach

When people face serious illness, aging, or death, they often turn to their faith and spiritual leaders for support and guidance. Hospice of Santa Cruz County offers information and education to help faith and spiritual leaders and their communities navigate these important topics.

Speakers are available to address topics related to hospice and end-of-life care. We can tailor a presentation to meet your specific needs or you can choose from one of the following topics:


  • How Hospice and Palliative Care Help – Understanding who can benefit from care and how to access services.
  • Understanding Advance Healthcare Directives – How to assist those wanting to record their healthcare wishes in these important documents.
  • Difficult Conversations – Practical information and techniques for helping individuals and families navigate serious illness and care decisions.
  • Beyond Kubler-Ross: New Perspectives on Grief – How professional understanding of grief and loss has progressed beyond the early theories, and practical guidance on how best to support the bereaved.
  • Present at the Passing – Understanding the physical changes that accompany the dying process, addressing common myths, and exploring the role of spiritual care as death approaches.



  • How Hospice and Palliative Care Help – Understanding who can benefit from care and how to access services.
  • Your Journey, Your Way – Guidance for thinking and talking through your healthcare wishes and completing an Advance Healthcare Directive.
  • The Heart’s Journey – Understanding the changes, challenges, and growth that can come with the death of someone close, and suggestions for self-care.
  • Planning Ahead for Peace of Mind – A forum featuring presentations and resources on preparing for future financial and healthcare needs.
  • Coming to Terms with Death Enriches Our Life – Reflections by a hospice chaplain on the gifts of opening up to the often-avoided but potentially richly rewarding act of facing our mortality
  • Being Mortal – This well-known Frontline broadcast follows Dr. Atul Gawande as he explores the relationships doctors have with patients who are nearing the end of life. Following the film, hospice staff and volunteers will facilitate discussion about the sometimes difficult conversations with those nearing the end of life and their loved ones.


Partners in Caring provides an opportunity for faith leaders to gather to share ideas, lessons learned, and ways to have meaningful conversations with faith community members and congregants around aging, advanced illness, and end-of-life choices.  These seminars are specifically designed for clergy, faith, and spiritual leaders, chaplains, Stephen and Eucharistic ministers, parish nurses, and anyone who ministers to the aging or those with serious illness.


“The Partners in Caring workshop helped me talk about death, openly and freely, in one of my sermons, which inspired some of the elderly in my community to prepare for the end of life process.”
–Reverend Floren “Tino” Cordova
First Christian Church of Watsonville

“The Partners in Caring workshops equipped me to help members of my community plan for and respond to end of life decisions.”
—Rabbi Paula Marcus, Temple Beth El


One tool that can help identify what’s most important when it comes to end-of-life wishes is this Value Assessment Worksheet. Faith and spiritual leaders may use this worksheet to inform their own Advance Directive or to start a conversation with community members about end-of-life planning. Download: Value Assessment Worksheet

Faith leaders often minister to congregants who have lost loved ones. Download: 10 Gifts for People in Grief

For information about our next workshop please contact Vanessa Silverstein
831 430 3047