FACING MORTALITY A recent Sunday morning at First Parish in Wayland was nearly standing room only. But it wasn’t Christmas or Easter — the occasion was a sermon by the Rev. Stephanie May on Atul Gawande’s bestseller about end-of-life care, “Being Mortal.”
Upon witnessing her congregation’s level of interest, “I recognized a need for people to wrestle with these questions about end of life,” May said. Her conviction that this was a topic consuming the minds of her congregants was augmented by a recent discussion on the church’s listserve about home funerals and green burials.
And so May decided to open the discussion to the wider community. As a result, she’ll be one of several panelists for a public event called “Writing the Last Chapter: A Workshop on Death and Dying” on Saturday, March 12.
With a half-day program of presentations and discussions, May expects attendees to accrue a broad range of information about everything from hospice care to living wills to burial and cremation services.
But the intent is more than informational, she emphasizes. “We’ll address broader questions about end-of-life planning. My hope is to make this a comfortable place for people to have these conversations.
“As a minister, I’ve watched families wrestle with so many issues connected to death. The time to work some of these things out is before they are in a critical situation. We may not control the ultimate end of our life, but we do have control over a fair amount.”
The day will begin at 8:30 a.m. with light refreshments. Programming begins at 9 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m. First Parish is at 50 Cochituate Road, Wayland. Admission is free. For more information, contact Kate Holland at email@example.com or at 508-358-6133.
SUMMER SCENES IN WINTER It’s still winter on the calendar — but not so much at Francesca Anderson Fine Art, where a show of paintings titled “Warm & Sunny Places & Things” is on exhibit through March 26. Over 80 paintings evoke beaches, girls swimming in pools, bright yellow forsythia bushes, ocean waves crashing on the beach, verdant grassy lawns, and lighthouses in the setting sun. Among the 18 participating artists are Penny Billings of Lincoln, Cindy Crimmin of Acton, Richard Giedd of Watertown, Dave Kaphammer of Westborough, and Jeanne Rosier Smith of Sudbury. The gallery is at 56 Adams St., Lexington. Hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays noon to 5 p.m. For more information, go to www.FAFineArt.com.
TWO ON STAGE The Umbrella Blackbox Theatre presents “Oleanna,” a two-person play by David Mamet about the relationship between a college student and the professor she accuses of sexual exploitation. Performances take place Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. March 4-19. For tickets or more information, go to theumbrellaarts.org or call 978.371.0820.
BIT OF IRELAND The Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston presents its ever-popular annual celebration of traditional Irish culture with “A Little Bit of Ireland” — a feast of Irish music, folk dancing, and light-hearted comic story-telling — on Saturday, March 12, at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 13, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $35 to $63, with group and senior discounts available. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.reaglemusictheatre.com or call 781-891-5600, The theater is at 617 Lexington St., Waltham.
ARTIST TALK Wellesley Society of Artists Inc. is sponsoring the annual Margaret Fernside Memorial Talk by Wellesley artist Deborah L. Friedman on Wednesday, March 9, in the Wakelin Room of the Wellesley Free Library, 530 Washington St., Wellesley. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m. A society member, Friedman is a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and has won numerous awards and commissions for her unusual pencil drawings. For more information, go to www.wellesleysocietyofartists.org.
MUSICAL MEDLEY Singer/songwriter Susan Werner returns to the Circle of Friends Coffeehouse on Saturday, March 12, with a repertoire of songs that slide among folk, jazz, and pop. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; the performance begins at 8. Beverages and gourmet desserts will be available. Admission is $27. The Circle of Friends Coffeehouse is at 262 Chestnut St., Franklin. Call 508-528-2541 or visit www.circlefolk.org to purchase tickets or for more information.
Send ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.