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End of Life Working Group

The End of Life Working Group addresses issues related to aging and dying well, caregiving, surviving, grieving, and pastoral care. Originating during BYM’s 2018 Annual Sessions, it is now under the care of the Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee. 

When the BYM End of Life Working Group was formed, our purpose was to create and gather late-life and end of life resources to share with you.  Little did we know how well our mission was positioned when the pandemic hit.  The imminent possibility that we or people we love might die stoked a deep fear that is contrary to Issac Pennington’s “Our Life is Love.”  As a result, we have chosen to uplift the positive aspects of aging and decline, while encouraging Friends to have the difficult conversations none of us really want to have.

Since then, we have offered several on-line workshops under the name of “Grace-Filled to the End” covering difficult conversations, advanced directives, grief, and what happens when we die.  We have learned how Friends yearn to share uncomfortable emotions about death and dying, to explore decision-making together, and to process painful memories in a safe space.  Each time, the sharing went deep quickly, and there has never been enough time for these profound conversations.   We continued to discern how best assist Friends to begin preparing for the process of our decline and death.

In 2021, our working group was led to expand the 2018 Langley Hill Friends Meeting workbook on death and dying to focus on the whole of Baltimore Yearly Meeting.  Eventually, with the support and encouragement of the Friends Foundation for the Aging, the project grew to a full-length book serving the entire United States’ Quaker community.

The resultant work, A Tender Time: Quaker Voices on the End of Life, was released in June 2024.  With guidance and editorial support from EOLWG, Patti Nesbitt (Sandy Spring) and Kristin Zimet (Hopewell Centre) have compiled a unique collection of Quaker voices, both historical and contemporary. An open-hearted primer from a Quaker perspective, this book explores many practical, legal, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the end of life.

Some of the book’s resources are linked here in this website: an annotated bibliography, an extensive set of queries, and two informative videos.  These are curated materials that explore practical, emotional, legal, and spiritual aspects of aging and dying well, without fear. Our hope is to support a growing conversation and community, so that more of us in our later years walk together, hand in hand, guided by the Spirit and our Quaker values. 

We welcome hearing from you and local meetings on how we can serve your needs.  What do you think and need?  You can contact us at

Listed below are the current members of the working group.

Patti Nesbitt, Clerk
Sandy Spring Friends Meeting
Frances Schutz
Charlottesville Monthly Meeting
Patricia LaNoue
Baltimore Monthly Meeting, Stony Run
Eileen Stanzione
Patapsco Friends Meeting

John Surr

Charlottesville Friends Meeting
Robert "Bob" Rhudy
Patapsco Monthly Meeting
Kristin Zimet
Hopewell Centre Monthly Meeting

Lisa Allen

Midlothian Friends Meeting


Updated 06/20/24

  • Make resources available to Monthly Meetings that focus on all aspects of preparing for and experiencing the last months of one's life, including resources for those who are care-takers and those who will survive the person at end of life.

  • ​Seek to maintain a webpage where links to resources can be posted, if possible.

  • ​​Organize workshops for BYM Friends to be presented at Annual Session, other gatherings of the Yearly Meeting, as requested.

  • Provide a “listening ear” for Meetings that are dealing with end-of-life issues among their members and attenders.

  • ​Keep track of and offer statements about end-of-life legislation in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and D.C. as appropriate, as resources permit.

  • ​Propose minutes and reports to BYM on areas within its scope of concern as appropriate.


The book is available in the following Bookstores 

 Pendle Hill Bookstore

Friends General Conference

BYM is happy to extend a 30% bulk discount for orders of 12 or more copies to other yearly meetings and Quaker institutions.  Please contact us at

End of Life Working Group Annual Reports

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