The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

She wanted spiritual support, but couldn’t find anything…

A nice article and a reminder to anyone who is considering starting a group, that it is so needed… but THIS is one of the reasons we SO appreciate your help in spreading the word about Rest Ministries. She made call after call and couldn’t find anything… See below…
PS: If you have just a minute it may be nice to email the reporter and thank her for covering this support group. I am sending her additional information, but when writers get a lot of feedback on an article they see how much it’s needed and will continue to inform others of support groups like this!

FORT THOMAS – St. Luke Hospital is offering a different kind of support group for people going through the stresses of ongoing illness.

Instead of focusing on education about the illness, Emma Shipp, coordinator of Health Ministry, said "A Caring Presence" focuses on the spiritual needs of patients and their family and friends.

After being diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a rare blood cancer, Estelle "Sis" Wittrock said she didn’t know how to deal with her illness.

"The things I found that helped me the most were reading spiritual books about how other people handled it," Wittrock said.

She made call after call looking for a spiritually-focused support group, with no luck.

With encouragement and help from her oncology nurse Deborah Truesdell, Wittrock decided to start her own group at St. Luke.

"I wanted to have a place where people could speak freely about God being in their life through the difficult times," Wittrock said.

When Shipp, who facilitates the group, heard what Wittrock wanted to do she thought it was a great idea.

"There was definitely a need for this kind of support group, and that need was not being met in this community," Shipp said.

The group, which meets once on month, participates in prayers and scripture readings.

"When someone is dealing with a chronic illness, often they have to look deep inside themselves to find strength," Shipp said. "This group comes together to offer mutual spiritual support."

1 Comment»

  Ed Madara wrote @

Through a recent newspaper article, I know of one Christian support group for persons battling cancer. The founder, Valrie Toles, is willing to help others start similar mutual help Christian support groups if anyone is interested. She has named her group:
“Survivors International Support Services”.
I regret I only have a snail mail address for her. Write her only if you are interested in possibly starting a similar group in your area of the country. Be sure to include an SASE. It’s:
Valerie Toles
1178 Wooclhrest Dr.
Flint MI 48532
The article appeared in the “The Flint Journal.” The title was:
“Faith-based cancer support group provides hope and guidance” “We believe in the Lord for healing” Article began…
“Valerie Toles has survived depression, on-the-job abuse, anxiety that landed her in the hospital for two days with heart problems and four operations for breast cancer.”
Take care and hope,
– Ed
“There is a great potential for expanded development and promotion of self-help groups by clergy, congregational leaders, and religious organizations… which represents a special form of ministry that can help reduce human suffering, improve community mental health, transform persons with problems into help providers, and address the currently unmet needs of congregants, clients, and the community.” – “Clergy and Self-Help Groups: Practical & Promising Relationships” by E. Madara & B. Peterson, Journal of Pastoral Care, XLI, 3, pp. 213-220, 1987.

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