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Spiritual Diversity Practices

  1. Spiritual Diversity Practices
  2. Spiritual Diversity Caring for our residents with specific belief systems is as crucial as healing their physical ailments. Meeting them at their point of need and providing hope with spiritual interventions customized to their faith traditions will enhance their healing process.
  3. Spiritual Diversity • ASK what faith traditions (if any) a new resident has • LISTEN – they may not follow what their mainstream faith (denomination) typically believes. We want them to share their thoughts and beliefs, no matter what they are. The deeper the understanding we have of the resident, the better we can heal the whole person: mind, body and spirit. • ACT – Customize a spiritual plan for the resident based on their faith
  4. Spiritual Diversity • The following slides contain general background, beliefs and general practices of several religious organizations and do not represent official faith group documents or doctrine. • This guide is meant to provide general guidelines for use in beginning conversations with residents to better understand their needs as their spiritual providers.
  5. Amish • The Amish believe that God has created and sustains all things. God exists externally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christ will return to judge the world, raise the dead and usher in the Kingdom of God • Keys to Communicating – Restrict the use of cameras or picture taking • End of Life – The church does not believe that life must continue at all cost. When life has lost its purpose and meaning beyond hope of meaningful recovery, relatives should not be censored for withholding life’s sustaining measures. Autopsy and organ donations are acceptable.
  6. Baha’i • The Baha’i Faith is made up of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh. Founded a century and a half ago, the Baha’i Faith is today among the fastest-growing of the world’s religions. With more than five million followers who reside in virtually every nation on earth it is the second-most widespread faith, after Christianity, in its geographic reach. Baha’is reside in more than 100,000 localities around the world, an expansion that reflects their dedication to the ideal of world citizenship. • The Most Holy Book of the Baha’i Faith is the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the book of laws written by Bahá’u’lláh. It is part of a large body of scriptures authored by him. The many writings of the Báb and those of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá are also a sacred source of reference for Baha’is. All of the Baha’i sacred scriptures are from their own hands and not of their followers. Moreover, Baha’is recognize the Bible, the Qur’an, and the holy texts of the world’s other revealed religions.
  7. Baha’i • Places of Worship - Bahá’u’lláh called for temples to be built on every inhabited continent and each to be surrounded by institutions of social service. To date, seven have been built, at least one on each continent. While their architectural styles differ, they share certain features, such as being nine sided, domed, and set in magnificent gardens (the number nine symbolizes completeness or unity). These temples are places for personal prayer and meditation, as well as collective worship, where sacred scriptures from many traditions are recited and sung. The North American temple is located in Wilmette, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. • Special Calendar and Holidays - The year consists of 19 months, each having 19 days, with four or five intercalary days, to make a full solar year. The Baha’i New Year corresponds to the traditional Persian New Year, called Naw Rúz, and occurs on the vernal equinox, March 21, at the end of the month of fasting. Baha’i communities gather at the beginning of each month at a meeting called a Feast for worship, consultation and socializing. Each of the 19 months is given a name which is an attribute of God. The Baha’i week is familiar in that it consists of seven days, with each day of the week also named after an attribute of God. Baha’is observe 11 Holy Days throughout the year, with work suspended on 9 of these. These days commemorate important anniversaries in the history of the religion. • Resources - www.bahai.org
  8. Buddhism • The US Buddhist population is estimated at slightly more than one million. At the heart of Buddhism and its practices are two key goals. One is the elimination of suffering for all beings. The second is the cessation of the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth (Samsara) leading to Nirvana, the supreme state of being freed from suffering and individual existence. • Buddhists believe in the notion that life is cyclical and that one undergoes many births and many deaths, not always in the same form. The way one lives in this life, the kind of good deeds one performs dictates the nature and quality of one’s rebirth – Karma.
  9. Buddhism • Many Buddhists are vegetarian. For some Buddhists, non-killing extends to not harming a potential life, so they refrain from eating eggs as well. Many refrain from eating strong spices or medicines that contain alcohol. • End of life – The body is not touched or handled immediately after death, to allow the life force to leave peacefully of its own accord. Autopsy is not always acceptable. • Other Selected Buddhist Practices - There are a host of spiritual practices available to Buddhists in the many different traditions. Among these are a variety of different styles of meditation (including sitting and walking, and a number associated with ritualistic actions). Chanting is also central to a number of traditions, and plays a central role in the spiritual practices of the Soka Gakkais who chant “Nam-Myoho- Renge-Kyo” (the title of the Lotus Sutra). Some other practices include weekly spiritual gatherings, ritual theatrical presentations, creation of Sand Mandalas, use of prayer flags and prayer wheels, creation of Zen gardens, fasting, study of Buddhist texts, and even spiritual debate.
  10. Christianity • Christianity is the largest world religion with a world population estimated at 2.1-2.2 billion • Christians generally believe that God sent Jesus to earth in order to save humans from sin through his life, death and resurrection. Most Christians believe that Jesus was born of a young woman who was a virgin, that he was crucified by Romans, and that he died, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven and will come again for a final judgment of humanity • Christianity comprises Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants (descriptions follow)
  11. Baptist • With most Christian Baptists they accept the Orthodox teachings of Christianity with reference to the Trinity and Jesus Christ, fully human and full of God. Most Baptists would believe that God would intervene and heal a person in an extraordinary manner if He so chooses. • Baptists generally would not have any issues with diet • Conservative Baptists tend to be very traditional in terms of gender roles. You will find them stressing male headship in the family and in the church. • End of Life – Baptists do not have any particular distinctive view on issues related to death and dying. This would largely depend on the wishes of the individual.
  12. Baptist Practices/Ordinances • Southern: – Lord’s Supper (open) – Baptism (immersion) • Free Will: – Lord’s Supper (open) – Baptism (immersion) – Foot Washing
  13. Baptist Practices/Ordinances • Missionary: – Lord’s Supper (open) – Baptism (immersion) • Independent: – Lord’s Supper (open) – Baptism (immersion)
  14. Baptist Practices/Ordinances • General: – Lord’s Supper (open) – Baptism (immersion) – Foot Washing • Old Regular Baptist: – Lord’s Supper (closed-often to only their associations) – Baptism (immersion) – Foot Washing
  15. Baptist Practices/Ordinances • Reformed: – Lord’s Supper – Baptism (immersion) – Foot Washing • Separate Baptist: – Lord’s Supper – Baptism (immersion) – Foot Washing
  16. Catholicism • The Roman Catholic religion teaches that God, who is One, has revealed himself to humanity as a Trinity of Persons- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Roman Catholic church believes that life is a gift from God, and deserves particular respect. It has inherited dignity, value and worth. Each person is made in the likeness and image of the Creator. All worth has been reaffirmed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, his son. Each of us is called to share eternal life with Him. These fundamental beliefs are the basis for all care for the person. • Sunday Mass is the main celebration each week. Holy Days include Easter and Christmas. Catholics follow the liturgical year which includes Advent in preparation for Jesus’ birth and Lent beginning with Ash Wednesday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Reception of Holy Communion at every opportunity is important to Catholics along with the receiving of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Sacrament of Healing (Anointing). The Scripture for Roman Catholics is the Bible. Catholics pray the Rosary. Religious articles and symbols include blessed medals, crucifix and holy water.
  17. Catholicism • There are a few days of the year when Catholics have an obligation to fast or abstain from meat and meat products. Catholics fast and abstain on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and abstinence is required on all Fridays of Lent. The sick, those under 12 or over 65, are never bound by this prescription of the law. • The celebration of the sacrament of Penance (confession) liberates the person from sin and guilt, and enables him or her to experience the Lord’s healing gift of mercy and salvation. • The proper time to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is in the case of any serious illness. It can and should be repeated if the patient worsens, or at the time before death. This sacrament, as all do, unites the patient to the passion of Christ, and the whole universal church. Its effects and graces are healings, spiritual and possibly physical. In the past, this sacrament was referred to as “last rites” and was only a preparation for passing over to eternal life, now it may be received many times if desired.
  18. Church of Christ • The Church of Christ in America appeared as a renewal movement during the Second Great Awakening, a sweeping religious revival in 1801.. New light and understanding are constantly being revealed through interpretation of the Bible, says the United Church of Christ. The church refers to itself as the New Testament Church as it follows the teachings of the New Testament. • Their associations are members of conferences, which are members of the General Synod that meets bi-annually. The General Synod carries out the business of the denomination, including taking progressive action on social policy and healthcare decision making for its members. The Synod recently reversed its decision on mental illness to support medical treatment and dispell the myth that mental illness was demon possession. • Practices – Lord’s Supper (every Sunday) and Baptism • Musical instruments are not permitted in services, so residents may shy away from activities when they are used
  19. Church of Latter Day Saints - Mormon • Believe in Jesus Christ as the redeemer and savior of the world. Believe in a future resurrection when the body and spirit will be reunited. • Many church members may want to wear a type of underclothing called a “garment” which is regarded as sacred and needs to be treated with respect • Practice – Laying on of hands to give health blessings to those who are will or injured • Diet - Prohibits taking of illicit drugs, alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea. Encourage consumption of grains, fresh fruits and vegetables • End of Life – Believe that the decision as to when life is over rests with God. Decisions about how much life support is provided and when to terminate life support are left with the individual and their family.
  20. Episcopal • A sacramental and worship-oriented church that promotes thoughtful debate about what God is calling us to do and be as followers of Christ. Value the importance of Holy Scripture, tradition of the Church • Practices – Confession, unction/anointing or laying on of hands for healing and Holy Communion • Key Scriptural/Spiritual Texts – The Book of Common Prayer and The Holy Bible (New Revised Standard Version is preferred). Prayer beads may be used including an Anglican or Roman style rosary. • Holy Days – Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, All Saints Day, Christmas Day, The Epiphany • End of Life – Encouraged to have a health care proxy – living will, based on their unique world view and circumstances.
  21. Greek Orthodox • The Orthodox Church uses the same Nicene Creed as the Roman Catholic Church with one major exception: They do not accept the “Filioque” statement, the Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. The Orthodox believe that the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father only. • Religious symbols – Plain cross, icons of Christ, the Virgin Mary and/or the resident’s personal saint. Orthodox monks and lay persons may use a prayer rope (Koboskini) with knotting for repetitive prayer. • Holy Days – Pascha (Easter), Dormition of the Virgin Mary, Christmas, Epiphany, Ascension
  22. Lutheran • With the universal Christian Church, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod teaches and responds to the love of the Triune God: the Father, creator of all that exists; Jesus Christ, the Son, who became human to suffer and die for the sins of all human beings and to rise to life again in the ultimate victory over death and Satan; and the Holy Spirit, who creates faith through God's Word and Sacraments. The three persons of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal, one God. Contained in The Book of Concord, the original statements of belief were shared broadly by church leaders during the 16th century. • Practices/Ordinances – Lord’s Supper, Baptism • Holy Days – Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Christmas and several festivals (Nativity, Epiphany, the Baptism of our Lord, the Transfiguration, the Annunciation, Palm Sunday, Easter, the Ascension, Pentecost, Holy Trinity, All Saints, and Christ the King).
  23. Methodist • The Methodist branch of protestant religion traces its roots back to 1739 where it developed in England as a result of the teachings of John Wesley. Wesley's three basic precepts that began the Methodist tradition consisted of: – Shun evil and avoid partaking in wicked deeds at all costs, – Perform kind acts as much as possible, and – Abide by the edicts of God the Almighty Father. • Practices – Means of Grace: Prayer, Bible Study, Worship, Fasting, Conversation with other Christians • Resources – www.umc.org
  24. Nazarene • The Church of the Nazarene is the product of a series of mergers that occurred between various holiness churches, associations and denominations throughout the 20th century. The First General Assembly held in 1907 brought together the Eastern and the Western bodies. • Practices – Lord’s Supper, Baptism • Resources – www.nazarene.org
  25. Pentecostal • The UPCI, or United Pentecostal Church, sets itself apart from other Christian denominations by its belief in the oneness of God, a doctrine which rejects the Trinity. The UPCI professes salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and not works, this church commands baptism and obedience as requirements for reconciliation to God (salvation). Speaking in tongues is a practice that means speaking miraculously in a language unknown to the speaker and is a common practice to the Pentecostal faith. • Pentecostals believe in divine healing and that although doctors and medicine play a vital role, God is the ultimate source of all healing. • Practices/Ordinances – The Lord’s supper, foot washing • The United Pentecostal Church says that for women, modesty requires that they not wear slacks, not cut their hair, not wear jewelry, not wear makeup, and not swim in mixed company. Dress hemlines should be below the knee and sleeves below the elbow. Men are advised that hair should not cover the tops of the ears or touch the shirt collar. Movies, dancing, and worldly sports are also to be avoided.
  26. Presbyterian • The PC(USA) was established by the 1983 merger of the former Presbyterian Church in the United States, whose churches were located in the Southern and border states, with the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, whose congregations could be found in every state. Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Presbyterian heritage, and much of what they believe, began with the Swiss/French theologian/lawyer John Calvin (1509–1564), whose writings solidified much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.
  27. Earth-Centered • The Earth-centered traditions are pantheistic or nature-worshipping religions. Earth- centered practices include rituals, creative visualization, affirmation and meditation—all designed to change consciousness and harness spiritual energies to bring about change. Many Pagan rituals mark either life passages (birth, death, coming of age, marriage) or passages of time (the moon cycle, solstices and equinoxes). • Pagans believe in both god and goddess and that “All Gods are One God, and all Goddesses are one Goddess.” Some Pagans consider the deities they worship to be aspects of reality which help them to focus on specific attributes of life such as strength, learning, or love. Other Pagans consider the deities to be external beings who embody those same traits. • Pagan religion is often confused with the Occult. Pagans do not believe in the Devil or animal sacrifice, and seek to live by the credo of doing no harm. They have a deep reverence for planet Earth and seek to both enjoy and commune with the natural world.
  28. Earth-Centered Holidays or Sabbats • Imbolc on February 2 marks the recovery of the Goddess after she gives birth to the Sun on Yule. This holiday is one of the Greater Sabbats of the Pagan calendar. • Ostara on March 20 celebrates the beginning of spring with a fire and fertility festival. • Beltane on April 30 commemorates the union between God and Goddess. • Midsummer on June 21 is held on the summer solstice, and celebrates the ‘peaking’ of the Sun God in his annual cycle. • Lughnasadh on August 1 marks the first harvest of the year and is also one of the Greater Sabbats in the religion. • Mabon on the Autumnal Equinox in September marks the fall harvest and the preparations for the coming of winter. • Samhain on October 31 celebrates the end of summer and the awaiting the Mother Goddess at Yule. Samhain is also one of the Greater Sabbats. • Yule on the Winter Solstice in December marks the death of the Sun-God and his rebirth from the Earth Goddess. Resources: www. Adf.org, www.starhawk.org
  29. Hinduism • All Hindus worship one Supreme Reality. There is no eternal hell, no damnation, in Hinduism. There is no intrinsic evil, no satanic force that opposes the will of God. Hindus believe that the cosmos was created out of God and is permeated by God - a Supreme Being who both is form and pervades form, who creates, sustains and destroys the universe only to recreate it again in unending cycles. Each soul is free to find its own way, whether by devotion, austerity, meditation, yoga or selfless service. • Most Hindus are vegetarian. Some will accept eggs. Milk and milk products, nut and grains are the principle sources of proteins. • A picture of one’s family, a book of Gita, Ganges water, incense and Tulasi leaves are the most sacred items for an ill or dying Hindu. • Practices – Touching is not preferred by the opposite gender. Hindus may also hesitate about eye-to-eye contact among opposite genders. • End of Life – Most Hindus believe that the death of the body is inevitable. Prolonging life artificially is only approved if meaningful. Autopsy is not preferred as it will disfigure the body. Embalming is forbidden. Family members may request to wash the body.
  30. Islam • Islam is the second largest religion in the world. Globally, approximately 1.5 billion people identify themselves as Muslim, followers of Islam. Within the United States, there are currently 2.35 million Muslims. ​Religion is recognized as a path followed by love and choice, not force. • ​The key sacred Islamic text is the Qur’an. The Qur’an, a word that literally means “recitation,” contains the message that God dictated to Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel. It is divided into 114 units called suras. Another important resource in Islam is the Hadith, containing the sayings of Prophet Muhammad. For many Muslims this resource acts as a guide for daily practice. • There are five essential practices which include praying five times a day.
  31. Islam Practices in Islam The five essential practices within Islam known as the Five Pillars, which comprise the paramount requirements of the Islamic faith. The Five Pillars of Islam are: 1. Shahada: Affirming that there is no deity but Allah, and Mohammad is His prophet. 2. Salat: Reciting the five mandatory daily prayers. 3. Sawm: Fasting from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan. This practice of abstaining from eating, drinking and sexual gratification while consciously practicing compassion and charity serves as an annual time of renewal. 4. Zakat: All practitioners are expected to give 2.5% of their savings annually to charity. Charity extends past the sharing of financial wealth and also promotes the practice of sharing necessary knowledge with all. 5. Hajj: Returning to the holy city of Mecca on a pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime is expected from followers who are financially able and healthy. • The Qur’an requires Muslims to eat lawful and healthy. They typically do not eat pork or pork products or alcohol. Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan unless the person is ill or hospitalized • Muslims do not allow men and women who are not family members to be alone in the same room or to make any physical contact (including handshakes). Women cover their entire body except their face and hands. • End of Life – Muslims are to be allowed to die with no extraordinary measures after all medical and spiritual procedures have been performed. Autopsy is not allowed. Resources: www.isna.net
  32. Jehovah’s Witness • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe there is one God, whose name is Jehovah. The son of God, Jesus Christ died as the ransom sacrifice to redeem mankind from sin and death. All scripture is inspired of God. The Lord’s or Our Father prayer taught by Christ will soon be a reality here on earth. The Devil will be destroyed along with wickedness. Earth will be restored to the paradise Jehovah God originally purposed. • Diet - All meat must have been properly bled • Practices – All Witness residents should be asked if they would like a visit from a “brother.” • End of Life – Each makes his or her own decision regarding prolonging life.
  33. Judaism • One very recent estimate puts the worldwide population of Jews at about 14 million. Of these, about 5.5 million live in Israel, and 5.2 million, in the United States. • Judaism is considered by some scholars to be a religion built around a three-way relationship among God, a chosen people and a sacred land (Israel). Jews build their ethical practice not only around the Ten Commandments which they share with Christians, but also with 613 mitzvot or regulations which are divided into positive commandments and negative proscriptions. • ​The Jewish faith believes in one indivisible God by whose will the universe and all that is in it was created. They also believe that there will be salvation for all righteous people. Sabbath is from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday.
  34. Judaism • Diet – Orthodox and some conservatives maintain a Kosher diet. Kosher food is prepared according to Jewish law under Rabbinical supervision. Eating of unclean animals is forbidden. Blood and animal fats are not allowed (do not mix meat with dairy products). • Orthodox men do not touch women, except their wives. Touch is only used for hands on care. Some women may want to be veiled. • End of Life – DNR orders and removing life support is often permitted if a person is only being kept alive by a machine. Jewish tradition forbids autopsy because the body is sacred and should not be violated after death. The body is washed in ritual fashion following death.
  35. Native American • The pre-Columbian population of Native Americans in what is now the US may have been as large as 18 million. Census figures place the current number of Native Americans in the US at a little over 3 million, or one percent of the population. There are more than 500 registered tribes in the US. Many of these have their own distinctive spiritual practices, and so there is no specific “Native American Religion” (though there is one small group that calls itself ‘Native American Church’). It should be noted that a significant percentage of Native Americans combine their traditional practices with some form of Christianity. However, many tribes have common spiritual practices and beliefs, and we will discuss these here, but only as observations rather than as definitive statements. These observations are taken in large part from the book, Teaching Spirits. For many Native Americans what other religions think of as religion is not a separate aspect of life. Religion in Native American life is so pervasive and so integrated that there is probably no Native American language in which there is a term that could be translated as ‘religion.’
  36. Quakerism • The world population of Quakers (or Friends) is estimated at 350,000. There are about 100,000 Quakers in the U.S. Kenya has the largest Quaker population in the world, with about 130,000 Friends. • A central belief is that ordinary people can have a direct experience of the eternal Christ. Some branches of the Religious Society of Friends are known to the public by testifying to their religious beliefs in their actions and the way they live their lives. • Unique Practices: wearing particular, simple, clothing (plain dress); using the same form of address to refer to everyone (e.g. using thee and thou to talk to anyone and not using titles such as Mr., Mrs., etc.); and, because one should always respect the truth, refusing to swear oaths.
  37. Unitarian Unitarian Universalism (“UUism”) is a liberal, non-credal religious tradition with roots in Christianity, especially the Radical Reformation, and in the Enlightenment. In 1961, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (“UUA”) arose from the combination of the American Unitarian Association (organized in 1825) and the Universalist Church in America (organized in 1793). Members of Unitarian Universalist (“UU”) congregations identify with a spectrum of theologies, from liberal Christian to humanism, including theistic, agnostic and atheist identities, with members who also identify with earth- centered spiritualities, Buddhist practices, and more. There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations covenant to affirm and promote: • The inherent worth and dignity of every person; • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; • The right of conscience and use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
  38. Unitarian UU congregations often mark the celebrations of the culture around them, so that services may hold observations of Christmas and Easter, Passover and Kwanza, as well as Earth Day and Halloween, each from a UU perspective. Some UU congregations will celebrate the solstices and equinoxes, and/or special Sundays such as Justice Sunday, Youth Sunday, etc. UUs celebrate child dedications, weddings and holy unions (for same sex couples when legal marriage is not available), coming- of-age recognitions for young teens, and memorial services. Age appropriate religious education or exploration opportunities are regularly offered.
  39. Need More Information? Contact the Signature Spirituality Department for further information on how we effectively serve a spiritually diverse population where everyone can be who they are without watering down their beliefs or practices. http://ltcrevolution.com/pillars/spirituality