Funeral Consumers Alliance
Funeral Consumers Alliance

FCA Events

FCAGR Annual Conference
Saturday, May 4, 2019 – 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Valley Manor, 1570 East Ave., 14610
Free and open to the public. All are welcome.

9:30 a.m. Registration

Katie Jo Suddaby10:00 to 10:15 a.m. Katie Jo Suddaby and Sand Mandalas
Rochester-based artist and American Baptist minister Katie Jo Suddaby has been making sand paintings using the ancient Tibetan Buddhist technique for the last nine years. She lays down thousands of grains of colorful sands to create pictures that inspire people to pause in appreciation of delicate beauty, to embrace impermanence, and to let go.

For this gathering, Katie Jo will be exploring the imagery of the bridge—as in building bridges of preparation for end-of-life planning, building bridges of conversation with family, and building bridges across different cultural views of death and the afterlife. When the image is complete, she will lead us in a ceremony to brush the image away and give it back to nature.

10:15 a.m. Business meeting and vote

11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Panel: Different perspectives on death and dying
This interactive discussion will feature a panel of people representing different cultures and faith traditions. We will explore the various ways people express their beliefs and mourning practices related to end-of-life and funeral rituals. We will have a short presentation about the variety of ways we show respect and grieve, ask panel members a series of standard questions, and then open it up for questions from the audience. There will also be information to take home about this topic related to the various refugee and immigrant populations that make the greater Rochester area so rich and diverse.


12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Lunch
Opportunity to enjoy a buffet lunch provided by Valley Manor. $10 per person, registration required by May 1. Use registration form in newsletter, or email

1:30 to 2:45 p.m. Panel: Funeral home directors
What an important bridge a ritual can be—a crossing from life with a loved one to a new world without their presence. A group of funeral directors will discuss a number of topics of interest:
• Basic information about their role and state laws
• Who should be involved in decisions
• Overview of options
• Cultural considerations
• Problem solving
• Changes in the industry
• What the public should know

2:45 to 3:00 pm Wrap up
Katie Jo Suddaby will share the mandala and its importance with attendees.