Chronic Illness and Faith in God is the Topic of Free Online Workshops During Invisible Illness Week

September 08, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Spirituality and how it affects one's health has become a widely recognized subject among both medical professionals and patients. National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, September 10-16, 2007 has five of twenty free online chat workshops that touch on the issue of one's faith and living successfully with chronic illness. The week is sponsored by Rest Ministries, the largest Christian organization that serves the chronically ill, so the spirituality workshops are Christian-based, but all are welcome to attend.

* "Touching Lives for God… in Sickness and in Health" will be presented by Carol A. Krejci, author of "Sowin' Seeds and Touchin' Lives." She was an emergency room nurse for forty-two years before retiring in 2002. She lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

* "Discerning God's Will in Life with Chronic Pain & Illness" will be presented by Maureen Pratt, award-winning author of the book "Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness." She is a popular speaker and syndicated columnist who focuses her work on prayer, faith, and living with chronic pain and illness. She lives with lupus and other ailments.

* "Mental Illness and Faith Communities: Creating Caring Congregations" will be presented by Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder, Coordinator of Mental Health Ministries, She is the author of "In the Shadow of God's Wings: Grace in the Midst of Depression," and she works to erase the stigma associated with mental illness in faith communities, educating doctors, therapists and other mental health care providers.

* "Overcoming Insurmountable Challenges" is the topic of Laura Beth Young, writer, singer, speaker, and founder of Cheerful Hearts, When an accident left Laura Beth bed-ridden with spinal damage and chronic pain at the age of twenty-eight, she felt her life was over. But God had a different plan! She now shares the story of God's awesome power in her life and how she raised four sons from her bedside.

* "When it's Not Getting Better: Spiritual Resources" will be presented by Virgil Fry, chaplain and author of the new book "Disrupted: Finding God in Illness & Loss." He has been a hospital chaplain, adjunct professor and presenter on coping with serious illness and grief. His wife of thirty-three years has ongoing chronic illness issues (diabetes & dialysis) and he will also speak of marriage and illness.

Workshops are free chat sessions Sept 10-14, 2007. See dates and times at . Guests will present for about forty minutes and then accept questions from attendees. Transcripts will be available in October. Many guests are donating free items or services.

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week was founded in 2002 by Lisa Copen and is held annually in September and is sponsored by HopeKeepers Magazine and Rest Ministries, Inc. Other sponsors for 2007 are Chronique Couture, a company that has stylish items such as whimsical walker bags or sharps containers, DePaul University Chronic Illness Initiative, and .

The 2007 theme is “Invisible Illness is a roller coaster. Help a friend hold on!” T-shirts, static clings for car windows, silicone bracelets, books, and more awareness items are available at or call 888-751-7378. Sign up for the Invisible Illness Week ezine “Update” and receive the first 40 pages of Copen’s book, Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend.