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Email your pastor!

Take just a minute to copy and paste this email and send it to your pastor. Be sure to add your 2-cents about why this is important to you and maybe a bit about what your illness is (keep it brief). Sign off with something personal to make this letter your own.

To copy and paste quickly, hit the "select all" button below and then right click your mouse to copy it and then paste it into an email program.


Dear Pastor,

I know you are very busy, but I realize you must see many people in the congregation who struggle with how chronic illness impacts their lives and relationships. I wanted to bring to your attention that National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is September 8-14, 2008 [ ]. This week is an annual outreach of Rest Ministries [ ] a national ministry that resides in San Diego and an affiliate of Joni Eareckson Tada's ministry for the disabled.

You may be surprised to know that nearly 1 in 2 people live with chronic illness. Here are a few other staggering statistics:

* 96% of illness is invisible and sixty percent of the people are between the ages of 18 and 64
* 90% of seniors have at least one chronic disease and 77% have two or more chronic diseases
* The divorce rate among the chronically ill is over 75 percent
* Depression is 15-20% higher for the chronically ill than for the average person;
* 70% of suicides have uncontrollable physical pain as a factor
* 66% of people with illness say if their church started a Bible study for those with chronic illness they would definitely attend.

The sources for these statistics and even more information is listed here:

I'm wondering if our church may make just a small effort to acknowledge those whom live with illness and suffer silently.

Some easy ways to do this could be:

+ Have a bulletin insert about invisible illness. There is one available at
or we can provide our own.

+ Have a special moment of prayer for the families impacted by illness (nearly everyone!)

+ Set up a table of resources our church provides for those who are hurting.

+ Have someone give their testimony about how God has worked through his or her illness.

+ Consider asking is there is an interest in starting a Bible study like HopeKeepers

+ Run an article in our church newsletter about illness. Rest Ministries can provide this or someone in our church could write one.)

+ Offer a resource for the chronically ill, like a frangrance-free seating area, or online webcasts or podcasts.

+ Start a library of resources for the chronically ill (I'd be willing to help gather some materials to present to you.)

I'm involved in this because _________________________________.

Rest Ministries provides a wealth of support to over 750,000 people each month via their web site and they have a couple hundred HopeKeepers support groups in the U.S. and beyond. The web site has daily email devotionals, online chats, online Bible studies, and many other services, including HopeKeepers Magazine, which is kind of like a Guideposts style publication for the chronically ill. There is a video on their web site that shares about how it was began 10 years ago by Lisa Copen at .

It is wonderful for the homebound who have little or no contact with the world outside their homes, as well as those who simply want to connect with others who are living with a chronic illness and need spiriritual support.

The ministry is completely ran by volunteers based on the scripture, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." (2 Corinthians 1: 3-8)

Please let me know if I can be of any further help. I'd love for our church to be able to reach out to all of those who are living with chronic illness--and since it's invisible-- they feel like no one understands.


_______YOUR NAME_______
______YOUR PHONE_______

More resources:
Invisible Illness Web Site:
Rest Ministries:
HopeKeepers Magazine:
Pastoral Resources at Rest Ministries:
Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend:











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National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week ™ is an official annual campaign sponsored by Rest Ministries
in collaboration with other sponsors. All information is Copyrighted, 2008, however, copies can be made and freely distributed as designed for and intended for advocacy partners for the purpose of representing National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week ™. If you have any questions, please email us for clarification.