The Ministry of Lisa Copen

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

Chatroom is Closing

a season closes

Dear Friends,

After a great deal of prayer, consideration, conversations and reflection. I have decided to close the Rest Ministries chat room –effective immediately. Since many of you use this room and we announce the scheduled chat times through the devotional list too, I wanted to personally notify you.

I began Rest Ministries in 1996, incorporating it in 1997 as a non-profit organization. During this time many of our programs/ministries have gone through seasons. Sometimes a ministry is particularly active and other times it slows down. At times, an area of ministry is thriving, and at other times it is not benefiting as many people as we would like.

As a ministry who seeks to reach out to those with chronic illness or pain, I never really made it a goal to have a chat room because of the variety of emotions that can be displayed without any moderation. But our little room that we used for occasional chats turned into a place to come, then we had special guests weekly, which led to CARE chats and more. It’s grown into quite a ministry, but at this time we are stepping back to see if it is still fulfilling the goals of our ministry.

Some of you may remember years back when we closed down our Share and Prayer group for about 6 months to regroup and re-prioritize what we believed God’s calling was for the group.

As with any ministry, hurt feelings and misunderstandings do occur. This is inevitable. With a chatroom, the ability to moderate such an environment, however, is impossible.

Ministries who typically have chatrooms, have the chatroom as their entire ministry, not just one of the many programs. So in this manner, they are able to train and equip their leaders whole also providing 24-hour moderation in the chatroom.

As people come into contact with Rest Ministries for the first time through the chatroom, we need it to be a place that is safe one-hundred percent of the time.

We have done our best to provide the support needed, but it’s an overwhelming task, particularly with all of our volunteers having an illness.

All of our volunteers are to be graciously thanked for the pouring themselves into this ministry and providing unconditional love to those who have entered our chatroom. I personally thank you for all you have done to try to meet this impossible task! And your help during Invisible Illness Week made that week possible. I could not have done it without you.

We will continue to offer ways to connect with others. I am also working on redesigning our web site to make it more user-friendly so you can find support. We will also begin offering the Hope Endures podcasts in January and our magazine will be coming out.

At this time, if you are in need of a place to connect with others I recommend doing a search on “Christian chat” and seeing what may best meet your needs.

I know that many of you will be disappointed. At this time, please know that I will read your emails, but will not be able to respond personally to each one of them.

Ministry is hard. It’s even harder when I feel that I must make these decisions, knowing full well that it will make some people very upset with me. I’ve shed tears over this decision (some privately and some in the bathroom at church because I couldn’t make it through worship) I do not take these decisions or the responsibility lightly.

My parents are arriving Saturday from Oregon to stay for a couple of weeks and we are in the middle of a million things to get ready, cleaned, etc. so please know that my lack of immediate response is just due to the fact that I won’t be on the computer as frequently as usual and not because I am ignoring you or do not care about you.

I’ve learned the hard way in the last ten years, that despite my feelings of my own inadequacies, I must follow God’s prompting for the decisions regarding Rest Ministries and keep my focus on what He most desires. It’s not something I enjoy. But I am humbly making the decision I believe God has led me to make.

Taking one day at a time,

Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries director

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