"The question, therefore, is not 'How can we make community?' but, 'How can we develop and nurture giving hearts?'" Henri J.M. Nouwen

“The question, therefore, is not ‘How can we make community?’ but, ‘How can we develop and nurture giving hearts?'” Henri J.M. Nouwen

 

12 Vital Programs

 

God has guided Chronic Joy through another exciting year! What a privilege it is to share a snapshot of the 12 vital programs we offer and to extend a warm and welcoming invitation to you – because you are the reason we do what we do – to serve in, with, and through our growing community.

 

 

Created for Community

 

One of the first things Jesus did in his public ministry was gather a community (the disciples) around him. And when He left His followers after the resurrection, He left them with the presence of the Spirit and the gift of companionship.

Let those words sink deep – the gift of companionship. Made in God’s image, we were created for community, filled with His Spirit, and given the gift of companionship.

Timothy Keller wrote, “Community grows naturally out of shared experience, and the more intense the experience, the more intense the community.” Chronic illness, chronic pain, mental illness, caregiving, parenting, grief, and chronic loss are powerful shared experiences among the community of Chronic Joy, giving us a common language, and often, common needs.

Henri Nouwen points out that community further “grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own. The question, therefore, is not ‘How can we make community?’ but, ‘How can we develop and nurture giving hearts?’”

 

Nurturing Giving Hearts

 

Prayer is the heartbeat of Chronic Joy and one of the most important ways we can serve one another. As we pray, a deeply intimate act, our hearts are drawn together in and through Jesus, which kindles our longing to serve. While we may no longer be able to serve in traditional or culturally familiar ways, together we can discover creative new ways to love and serve right where we are, however we are able.

Your longing for community, your desire to serve, the needs we’ve both experienced and learned about from you, all held in fervent prayer, grew into the foundations of our 12 Vital Programs.

The door is open, Friends, the table is set, and you are warmly invited! We look forward to the banquet and to the beautiful growth of community in the seasons ahead.

PRAYER MINISTRY

Many have told us that due to chronic illness, serving in traditional ways isn’t possible, but that you can pray. Today, we invite you to do just that. #PrayItForward by lifting the requests of others. Then as you rest at the edge of the Prayer Pond, toss in your prayers and praises, and watch them ripple with radical hope and compassionate change throughout our community and far beyond. LEARN MORE.

GIFT OF HOPE

Hope is possible. Sometimes we just need to know that someone cares, that our stories matter, that hope is possible – even in a life with chronic illness, even through sustained loss, even in the midst of debilitating pain. If you need to know that your story matters, that you are not alone, and that someone cares, request your free copy of Discovering Hope. Our Gift of Hope to you! LEARN MORE. 

GIFT OF COMMUNITY

The Gift of Community is an invitation to small group communities across the United States and around the world. We equip individual small groups with everything needed to develop, grow, and thrive. LEARN MORE.

#PENTOPAPER

#PenToPaper is a powerful, yet easy way to encourage one another and build each other up. Build community, offer hope, let someone know they are not alone, and that they are prayed for, cared about, and genuinely loved. We provide a beautiful starter set of stationery to encourage both sender and receiver. LEARN MORE.

STORIES OF HOPE

#StoriesOfHope can be the start of life-giving, life-changing conversations. Sharing our stories – where we’ve seen God and tasted hope, how we’ve experienced peace in the midst of pain, where we’ve learned to lean deep, and how we’ve grown in faith – can bridge barriers and change the trajectory of a life. LEARN MORE.

PASS IT ON

Is there a great book, go-to website, or thought-provoking podcast that encourages you in your walk with chronic illness? Pass It On! Open the door to community by lending a hand, sharing your experience, and making the journey just a little bit easier for all of us. LEARN MORE.

#STEPREPPRAY

#StepRepPray is an opportunity to meet with God in prayer as you intentionally move in whatever way you are able. With each step or every rep, we invite you to pray for others, to seek God’s guidance, to worship and praise Him, and to thank God for the gift of movement. LEARN MORE.

SERVE

“Serve one another humbly in love.” Serving with chronic illness is as important to who we are as breathing, and as vital to us as oxygen. In God’s Kingdom, small acts – as simple as a smile or a cup of cold water – are significant. Discover creative new ways to love God and love others right where you are, however you are able. LEARN MORE.

AWARENESS

Our DID YOU KNOW? program offers both digital and printable Fact Sheets to create awareness, increase knowledge, and support education in a quick and easy format that you can share with friends, family, churches, small groups, co-workers and neighbors. LEARN MORE.

FOR CHURCHES - CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY

We’ve created streamlined and easy-to-use tools and resources For Churches and other groups. We know it takes time for organizations to flesh out chronic illness ministries within their walls. And it takes people willing to lead even when we don’t feel well, so we’ve developed everything you need to succeed. LEARN MORE.

CHILDREN'S MINISTRY

Chronic illness impacts millions of children worldwide. Our Children’s Program is growing and developing. Today we offer delightful notecards and a free starter set of stationery designed by one of our young ministry partners to encourage children who are hospitalized, homebound, or just having a tough time. LEARN MORE.

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY

FREE copies of Discovering Hope are available to Little Free Library owners across the United States. Books include a label on the inside cover stating: “Yours to Keep.” As librarians notice their copy of Discovering Hope has found a new home, they’re invited to request a replacement. LEARN MORE.

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